Mum went to work for Goodyear in Norrkoping in Sweden in March 1947 and soon met and fell in love with a handsome divorcee 12 years her senior. They were married in December and this is the only photo I have of their wedding. They are the couple in the middle of the table on the right hand side (Mum has a white hat on and Arthur my dad is losing his hair)
They moved into an apartment in the city and started their life together. It was so wonderful for me 2 years ago to return to the country of my birth and to see these places that have lived in my memory for nearly 60 years, helped by my father's wonderful photos of course.
Here's the new bride proudly showing off her new home, my brother still has those chairs you can see behind her.
18 months later and I arrived on the scene in May 1949, I just love that old fashioned pram!
My parents also had a country cottage near a lake a few miles from Norrkoping and we spent all our summers there. It was near enough for Dad to commute to work and I well remember the rather primitive facilities. The toilet was up the hill in the woods in a shed and all our water had to be pumped in the garden. We took our baths in the lake and I can still see our little family trooping off down the lane with our towels and soap!
The cottage is still there although beautifully extended and updated now by the present owner who was kind enough to give us a tour when we were there. You can see some of my sketches done at the time in my blog archives posted in February 2013.
My family lived in Sweden till I was 6 and it was time for me to start school. By that time I had a brother and 2 sisters and Mum used to joke that it took her 6 years to learn the Swedish for family planning. My parents were very happy for 19 years but sadly Dad died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 59 leaving mum with 4 teenage children to bring up alone. She went back to work and did a wonderful job of holding us together through a difficult time. This is one of my favourite pictures of her about the same age as I am now. She was a wonderful artist specialising in china painting and continued as long as she could hold a brush despite being crippled with arthritis for many years.
I have enjoyed telling my mother's story and hope you too have enjoyed reading about a wonderful and courageous lady.