Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Old Timer - a guest blogger. Part 2

I reckon that I only went into foster care because of the 1939-1945 war even though I born about a decade later. My Dad's brother John and my Dad both served in the far east. Uncle John was killed just before the fall of Singapore and of course my Dad came back in a terrible physical and mental state. Parents today probably can hardly imagine what it is like to send their children off to war. I wondered sometimes would Uncle John have got married if he had come back safe? Perhaps he could have looked after me rather than the foster child system?

I never felt very sad about those foster child years. Even in the 1970s men didn't show much emotion and mostly I just got on with daily life. I used to visit my Mother in the hospital but she quickly got worse and quite soon hardly recognised me. I feel a bit guilty now but the weekly visits soon became monthly and once she didn't know who I was and didn't recognise photos of her own husband there didn't seem much point. It wasn't dementia she had it was something else with a long 3 part name that ended in syndrome. She would have been OK I expect if Dad had still been around so the war got in the way again.

I've had a problem all my adult life with showing emotion or even feeling emotions. When my wife died I was sorry of course but I was also pleased for her because she had had a bad last two years. She died at home which was good. She went off to bed a bit earlier than usual and just never woke up when the morning came. The doctor thought she died about 11PM so I was beside her when she passed on. 

I ended up working in a school by accident. The lecturer who taught me for most of my C&G courses also worked at a school and when there was a job going there he encouraged me to apply and then helped me prepare for the interview. Mr T was an all-around good bloke and had a big impact on how I became a man. He would be shocked if he ever found out that I saw him as a bit of a father figure to make up for the dad I never had!

Jane who became my wife worked at the school. I noticed her very soon after I started working there but it took me a while to ask her out. Looking back it is strange how things worked out. Jane came to St Albans to be with her boyfriend who had been transferred from Wolverhampton. He found somebody else but she didn’t want to tell her parents that she had been dumped so she stayed on in St Albans living in lodgings on Alma Cut. Then I ended up working in the same place as her just because I got fostered. 

One thing that I have found in school is that many younger teachers have no respect for the older ones. The youngsters talk about their bosses in front of technicians like me as if we are invisible so we get to hear their rudeness. I don’t bother saying anything to them but inside my head I remember what they say and it makes me feel quite cross. I expect they are rude about me behind my back because to some of them being old is the same as being useless. They seem to forget that they will be old one day.

On Friday I was doing some work in a tutor room and I heard the SENCO talking about all the children in the school who were fostered or adopted or living with relatives not parents. It was all quite upsetting for somebody like me to hear how little things have changed since I was at school.

But I have done two good things this week. I have rejoined the local stamp group. I left not long after my wife Jane died because I didn’t feel up to going to meetings but I turned up on Thursday and quite a few of my former friends are still around and still collecting so I had a good time.

I have also found my first proper girlfriend on the Internet. One of the ICT teachers helped me with some tips and because she had an unusual surname I was able to find her. She has her unmarried surname on her profile. She lives on the Welsh coast and we have swapped a few memories and I would like to drive over to see her at half term, if she is willing of course.

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