Life with Ted

Very hard but no more sitting back feeling sorry for myself.  I wanted to die but I didn’t.  I did ask God but he said ‘no’.  Ern had been taken up to heaven.

Ted Robinson

Two years later I had a huge bunch of red roses delivered.  They were from Ted Robinson.  I had worked with him on the farm with Ern so I knew him quite well.  He wanted to come over to see me.  I talked it over with Lena she said it would do no harm to see him.  When he came to see me he said his wife had died of cancer.  We went out for a drink and a good chat.  I was missing Ern’s loving and company, it seemed nice having someone to talk to.   He lived in Gravesend so he sold his house after a lot of thought. We said we would try to make a go of it so we decided to buy Sunnyside.  I have lived here sixty-two years so I didn’t really want to move.  I feel this house is full of so much love and happy memories.  I moved here on 1st May 1947.  We had the house altered as to how we wanted it.

We seemed to get on very well.  Not all the time, you know what men are like. They won’t always do as they are told……..

We went to Australia to see my sister Vi.   She had cancer of the breast.  We stayed with her for six weeks. She sadly has since died. We have seen our grandchildren growing up.  In all we have twenty including two of Teds.

We are very happy. So many things happen in life it makes it much easier if you have a shoulder to cry on.

When poor Ern died I thought I would never hurt so much again but worse was to come.   My darling son died of cancer of the throat.  I didn’t realise God only lent him to me for a short while.

Now, although I had Ted I still just wanted to die.  I know one has to learn to live with it but it is so hard.  I think it is worse than any illness.  I hold his photo close to me just wishing it was him.  I am not trying to make you feel sorry for me or unhappy but I must tell you how I feel.

Looking back

Even as a girl I loved teddies.  I was never keen on dolls.  So to have my very own baby boy was everything to me.  Anyway must get on with life.  I still had quite a lot of my family left so in one way I was lucky.  Gert in Longfield, Glad in thatched cottage at Longfield Hill, Lena next door.  We had all been such a happy famiy.

We had no money but we didn’t even think about it, we only ever had what we could pay for.  Our food was simple, just veg from the garden, the odd rabbit or pheasant or two, hares which Jenny loved.  Plenty of fruit from the garden.  Our main thing was bread and jam.  We all kept very well on it.

We didn’t think or birthdays, never had cards or presents even at Christmas.  We never saw cards.  Mind you we never went to the shops so we were never aware such things existed. When we lived in New Barn we had one bus a day.  The drivers name was Pat. I can never remember going on it, there was no need.  Mum made sure we were never idle.  She used to say the devil makes work for lazy people.  We all had our jobs to do every day.

My mum was a happy person, after all that had happened in her life she never became bitter and she used to say to me ‘Life is what you make it’.  I would argue and say ‘No mum it’s what other people make it’.  She would look me in the eye and say ‘It’s your attitude to life, you must learn to deal with what life sends you’.  Sound advice really.

Modern days

Getting back to Ted and myself.  We went to North Wales for a holiday, we just got in the car and drove.   We hadn’t a clue as to where we were going to stay, we didn’t tell anyone where we were going.  We were very lucky we went to a farm house and they had a bungalow to let, so we took it for two weeks.  It was really wonderful.  We were up in the mountains and the views were breath taking.   It really was a truly grand holiday, the weather was great.  We used to have our breakfast then go out for the rest of the day.  In the evening we used to bring home a bottle of wine etc. etc.

When we came home in the evening to the bungalow we had to come across a pass with water falls cascading down it really was so beautiful. We sat one day with our feet in the stream as it was so very hot. I felt as if I was walking on air when we came out of the water.

You will remember Em it was at Bedgelert.  No, I won’t make you cry again.  I wanted it to last for ever.   When we were in the village we saw the salmon leap up the rocks.  There was always so much to see and do.   We keep saying we will go back one day.  Our life is very good at the moment. We are now both retired.

We went up in a hot air balloon when I was eighty years old then we went up in a helicopter for my eighty second birthday.  It was all very interesting.

We go out for the day at least once a week – gives us something to look forward to.  Since Ted has his op on both knees he is great.  He works very hard.

When he came home from hospital I had to give him an injection every day so for a short time I had the upper hand of him.  It was a lovely feeling.  He had about twenty seven injections, he was very brave.  I felt like Florence Nightingale but didn’t have her lamp.

When we go out we look for a good place to have our lunch. We found a lovely place it is called the Snoring Owl. It is in beautiful grounds and they even make rabbit pie. They make a wonderful meal, all sorts of different dishes.  I love trying things for the first time.  Also there is a gorgeous shop full of goodies and a craft shop so it makes a nice day out.

Sometimes we have a run down to Greatstone. I can get some really nice fresh fish there.   Food is always on my mind as well as in my tummy! It is a nice drive down also lots of little lambs enjoying life.

I remember Ern and I used to take the children down there to stay, it used to cost five pounds for one week.  All the children wanted was the sea and the sand.  That’s all they did get, we were short of cash but we were all very happy.  I used to take plastic flower pots and an old spoon for them to make sand castles.  Ern would find an old tin and put it on a stick in the sand then we had to throw pebbles at it and try to knock it off.  Simple but the children loved it.  You know Ern he would just sit and giggle. We used to take Dixie the dog with us.  We used to take a wide berth around the ice cream man, shame really but it didn’t do the kids any harm, they just knew we just didn’t have the money. They were lucky to be on holiday. I’m a hard old nut Emma as well you know.

At last Ted and I have given up going out to work. We love being retired, just ourselves to please. It might sound selfish to you but after a while it seems everybody’s troubles are made to seem like ours.  We are making plans for our future hoping we have one.

We have been up to stay with Andrea and Dennis for two weeks in Norfolk.  The weather was really hot. We had a simply wonderful time.  There are so many interesting places there to visit.  We even went to the old workhouse I must tell you all about it when I see you.  They have a lovely bungalow on it’s own and lots of wild life.

We have booked to go and stay up in Scotland in June.  We are hoping to go on the Jacobite train, it runs right through Scotland’s mountains.  It looks lovely on the TV programme.  Then we are going to stay in another cottage in the Dales for a week.  That is the plan.  We are also going up to stay with Andrea and Den for Christmas.  Saves me a lot of bother, my party days are over.

I am still taking warfarin tablets, they seem to be doing the trick.  Ted is keeping very well at the moment.

I am going on the train for my eighty third birthday that is my treat from Ted.

We have been together now for twenty years.








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