I don’t ever show my birth certificate, it’s got ‘adoption’ on it. It doesn’t upset me now, it used to, but now it doesn’t bother me. I’ve always said that wherever you move to is your home and that is where you expect to be and you don’t go backwards, you always go forwards. I’ve never looked back.
I had a wonderful marriage. I was lucky there. I was in my late 20s when I met my first boyfriend. We were getting married and then I discovered that he had another girlfriend. That really hurt me. But I got through it. With a struggle. I can remember I threw my engagement ring at him and told him to get out of my life altogether and then I got rid of everything that I’d bought for the house. I just gave it all away. My dad said, ‘are you sure you know what you’re doing?’ and I said, ‘no, but I’m still going to do it.’ Then I went out and bought a motorbike. I really rebelled. And then I met my husband to be. And I think I put him through a tough time to make sure. Even to the day I got married, I sent my brother into the church to see if he’d actually turned up.
It was very tough (World War II) because you spent most of your times in the air raid shelter. You went to school and as soon as it finished you were straight into the shelter and stayed there till you were picked up at night. We had some fun. It was something we grew up with. We had a military base nearby. We had our windows blown in almost every day (from bombing). Dad would put the new ones in and the next day they’d be gone again. A lot of the houses down our road were flattened. We went out one day, Mum and I. I looked up and said, ‘oh look mum a plane, I can see the pilot’ and I was waving to him. And the man at the chemist shouted, ‘lay down on the floor’ and it was a German plane I was waving to. I didn’t realise. I was just so excited to be able to see the pilot, because you couldn’t normally. They were machine gunning people if they saw anybody along the road there. It was frightening. We also had a prisoner of war camp near us as well. So you didn’t know what was happening there. All sorts of peculiar things happening around you. They were allowed out and able to walk around. Rationing was very tight. Dad always made sure he had stuff planted so we’d never go hungry. I came through it. I’ve come through everything that’s happened to me. I think I was just lucky. Unless you really have been in war, and seen what damage it does, you don’t really understand it.
You’ve got to join in things and be happy with what your life is. I think that’s the most important thing. You’ve got to take life as it comes. No good sitting back thinking, ‘I’m a poor widow’, or ‘I’m a poor pensioner’, it doesn’t get you anywhere, we all go through those stages. We all have different things in our lives. Some are good, some are bad.
It’s nice to tell your story sometimes.