Barbara's life was very different compared with mine. She was the only daughter of a single parent family who had to work hard for their money. I lived with my parents and my two older brothers in large bungalow. This house had a lovely garden with a pond and a tennis court. Some of the earlier pictures of Barbara where taken in this garden.
A girl called Heather lived with us. She was Bill's younger sister (see my story about meeting Bill). Heathers parents emigrated to Turkey, she stayed in our house to finish her study. Heather also studied at the CCAT, she was the same age as me and we were very close. Every evening we tell each other what we had done that day. Barbara always called her my sister.
My mother was a housewife and brought us up in a traditional way. This meant that we as boys didn't have to do anything at all at home. No cooking, no housekeeping, no tiding up. As long as we did well at school my parents let us do everything we wanted. My mother had difficulty integrating with the English way of life and with the language. To make her life more interesting she encouraged us to take our friends home. She didn't mind what they looked like or what kind of background they had, she made them always feel welcome. Our house became a meeting place with always young people around, it was lively and there was always something happening. We played football, tennis or badminton in the garden. Chatted, played chess or other games in the evening. The house had a separate room for those who wanted to watch television and a larger living room where we played all kinds of games. How different this was compared with Barbara's home. So far I know there were never any friends visiting Barbara at her home.
Barbara felt very comfortable in the relaxed environment of my home. She could get on very well with my brothers and she enjoyed being part of the group. Sometimes Barbara even cooked for us.
One day I was laying stretched on the floor talking to my mother who sat on the couch opposite me. Barbara sat on a comfortable chair next to her. Our conversation was in Dutch and we were just talking in a relaxed way. Although Barbara couldn't understand it, she seemed to be listening to it and smiled. I asked her why she was smiling. She said that she enjoyed the way I talked to my mother, she wished she could talk that same way at home to her mother.
Barbara said that she loved seeing that my parents were still holdings hands and cuddling each other. She hoped that when we were that age (about 50) we still be that affectionate.
Barbara with my father
A drawing Barbara made for my parents in 1977.
Barbara being cuddled by my two older brothers
Barbara with me and my dog Polly Ann in the garden of my parents house
A picture taken by Google maps of what used to be my parents house at Gazeley Road, Trumpington Cambridge. The blue coloured area with the houses used to be tenniscourts.