Thursday, December 15, 2011

all that's left....


wasn't really thinking of posting today
but then I went to Flickr
and saw a seven day old comment
on a photo I posted
who knows when...
it's from Mahdu
who saw something in the background of the photo and made mention
it's a plate that belonged to my mother
it's old and chipped and the glaze is all crazy
but I keep it
it was my mother's!!!!

I remember being told as a child that my Mother had a "thing"
 for tea sets and dinner services
as they were called
anything china actually
apparently when they lived in Egypt and had a nice house and were probably all settled in
expecting to live their life there
she collected them
but history took over the story and
in what must have been a  very short and stressful time
they swooped my sister and I up and carried us off
out of a country in turmoil
into another
 strange and unknown
I have no memory of Egypt or our arrival in Kenya

I do remember our first house there
but not the journey to it

having no memory of Egypt makes my memories of childhood in Africa the place I think of as home
in a way
we had tons of friends
my parents lived a good life
and the memories are of wonderful things and sights
and even more wonderful holidays in other even more exotic places

the sister and I really do appreciate how very lucky we were to have lived that as young children
and then when the bad times came again
I most certainly was too young to understand the danger and the stress of having to
once again up and leave a life behind
and move on
this time to my father's home land of England
I was 10 when we got there and the first memory is of
feeling cold
we arrived in January
and it was

I can still see us
standing on the thing in the middle of the  road waiting to cross to go and buy
winter coats for us all
and my mother crying because her girls were
I even remember the coat
it was tweedy but in blues
and it felt strange

we had no home there of course
my father had no family or place to live
so we stayed in a bed and breakfast
that was run by someone my parents knew from another visit I think
but it was cold and smelly and we didn't like it
and we ate at what was called a
in England
a cafe but they mispronounced it
don't know if they still have them or call them that!!!
Ruth...Mia...Elaine..... anyone!!!
anyway the food was horrid and so was everything else
my poor mother and father
it must have been hell for them

they left everything behind....again
we just had what they could carry and the clothes on our backs
but we had a place to go
some didn't
so we were OK
just a bit lost I guess

and after a while we found a place to live
just down the road from
HRH Elizabeth II
 I used to visit
well, she never knew I was there
but I knew she was!!!!!!

:) :) :)

and slowly slowly they/we acquired that
 which makes a home
and my mother got herself some new
china sets
and this is all that's left of her last one
I did dream once of getting it all replaced from that china company that finds old china
but I don't think I will
this was hers
the ones they found
wouldn't be
and new
is out
of the question

the end!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Your childhood sounds so exotic and wonderfully fantastic - very Gerald Durrellesque in my mind and I love hearing about your experiences as it's so very interesting indeed - love it!! You sound extremely well travelled.

Caffs or Greasy Spoons as they are also known as do certainly still exist - it's where they serve the best cups of tea around in my opinion! Nice and strong with no sugar is my preferred way of taking tea. :)

I used to work in a Greasy Spoon when I was 15/16 years old on a Saturday. Our regulars included a bunch of guys who ran the Tattoo Parlour across the road and they were also members of a Motorcycle Gang but I tell you this - they were the most loveliest and Gentlemanly Men I have ever known in my entire life!! People are very stereotypical and looking at these men people would most definitely cast the wrong opinion of them as they were covered in tattoos and had piercings galore but really, they were fantastic and very kind guys.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story Marilyn. Your parents went through alot. To leave every thing behind. Your story about the china is such a beautiful story, especially with the holidays so near. Thank you for sharing a beautiful story.

Anonymous said...

That is beautiful old china. Lovely colours in those birds. Glad you still have some. Such a shame when it gets broken. Lovely stories. Your parents must have been very resiliant, resourceful and adaptable.
Yes, the cafés still survive amongst the Starbucks and Cost Coffees, usually quite small and friendly.
I tried doing a bit of waitressing when I was younger, but I couldn't remember the orders and got them all muddled up! Mia S

Anonymous said...

You are very special as a result of those traumatic moves and those distant cultures. So very Marilyn, as I always think to myself!!!

Valeria said...

that must have been hard for a litle girl to move around the world like that ,strange and fun to travel like that to see new things .
glad you keept that old china ,its beautiful and its youres now to keep save and enjoy the memories you have


Baban Cat said...

Thanks for sharing your story. It must have been bleak arriving from Kenya to England in January.
There certainly are caffs and greasy spoons around. Where I grew up in Wales there was a large Italian community. They ran cafes and made coffee in the most beautiful Gaggia espresso machines.
I still can't abide tea but I can appreciate a lovely teapot!

MrS. :d (eLLeN) said...

What an adventurous childhood you had. It's ashame we can't remember everything about them. You tell such powerful wonderful stories of your travels with your family. A memory that will never fade. xxxx

NillaK said...

Marilyn, you are an amazing storyteller! Everything comes alive when you write about it. I loved to hear this story, I knew you had travelled, but this cleared things up. It seems to me your mother's last china has a greater story to tell because of all the china left behind in a hurry... Thank you for telling this story!

Jeroge said...

'N'dio, asanti sana Memsahib!

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

I love this china! Almost as much as the story. Thank you for sharing both with us.