Thursday, 28 November 2013

Helpers and Carers

Grandpa was always trying to make life easier for us, to look after us and protect us. One of things he did was to organize help in the house.
The first helper I remember was Mrs Ellis. Not being naturally gifted linguistically it took me a long time to be able to pronounce the S and SW. So I called her MI HI El IH. She and I loved playing together. She brought me a doll and I wanted to call it Mi hi El ih, but Grandma persuaded  me to call her Caroline. I also said imoot (swimsuit) and ong ong (do you want one) After Mrs Ellis we had Beryl to help us. She  tore through our house like a tornado, stacking things in piles, tidying up and making the house unrecognisable. Beryl became Uncle Peter's arch enemy. He could never find  anything, after she had been round. She inspired Grandpa to use a phrase which then echoed down the years:  "That woman is a Menace" - he would growl.
When we moved to Marlow we had Mrs Bowles to help us in the house. She became one of the family, cooking full English breakfasts and making tea for "the men" - the gas man, the electrician, the plumber. I adored her and loved her company. She was one of 13 children and had been brought up on a farm in a little workers' cottage. She lived in a caravan with her mysterious husband and one of her missions was to always have his tea ready by 6 pm. She was invited to my brother's wedding and proudly bought a long purple dress and hat. She was so happy.
The only downside was that she had to be collected from the town and this meant Grandpa had to go and pick her up and often he would go in his pyjamas!

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