Continuing My Story
It was 1970 and we were living in Switzerland but we went to England to visit my old home, where I was born, my relatives and my parent's friends.
We put our car in for a service and then we did a lot of sight seeing in London by bus and tube. It was fun finding our way around. We went to Madam Tussaud's Waxworks, the National Museum and Earls Court.
We found our way to Forest Gate by train to visit my only remaining grandparent. When I left England 21 years before, I said goodbye to my four grandparents when I was six, and never saw them again. Now that I'm a grand parent, I realise how hard that must have been, especially for my Dad's parents because he was an only child.
Well here we were at my Dad's Mum's house. She opened the door and said," I don't know who you are but come in anyway." I started to explain who I was but soon became aware that she had dementia and was very confused about who I was. The closest she got was that she thought I was her son's wife. It was so sad. In 1965 when my parents returned home for the first time in 15 years my dad had tried to get his mum to come to Australia but she refused and just wanted to stay in her own home. So he organised social workers to take care of her. She also had church members check on her. However, she would open the door for anyone and some people had stolen many of her belongings. There were still photos of me in frames but she still didn't know who I was. We sadly said goodbye and caught a bus to South Woodford to where I used to live.
My Granny's house was the next one along past the lamp post. Its fun to look up Google Map's Street View now and see how it looks today.
When we got our car back we drove to Ascot to meet a friend of Bill's mother. Marianne was a Swiss Au Pair for the Pulimbo family who lived in this mansion. The owners were not home so Marianne took us for a tour through this magnificent house. We were blown away by the gold taps, the opulent furniture and the art works. She showed us where the queen had been entertained.
After staying in Burnley for a few days we went on to the Lake district which is such a beautiful area. I loved the houses made from stones.
In Yorkshire I contacted my Uncle Gil. He apologised for not being able to put us up as they were renovating so he took us to a posh hotel in Doncaster instead. We had a lovely dinner and a long chat.
They also took us to see Penshurst House in Kent . I loved the architecture of the old houses.
I was very happy to have been able to visit my homeland but I was also happy to be returning to live in Australia. I didn't feel English, I felt Australian.