Thursday, July 9, 2020

Tales From The Vicarage ~ The End


Thinking back on my time at the vicarage, where I had a Guinea pig of my own, where there lived an orange cat, named Ginger, a rabbit, named Biscuit and of course the vicar, his wife, Mrs. Smith, and three lovely kids I realize what a special place it was. A family place of traditions, peace, God, and love. I went to church on Sundays. I learned to cook a Sunday roast, including the always present Yorkshire pudding. I looked after the kids and, as I wrote in an earlier post, kept the vicar on the straight and narrow. 

















Looking back now, I wish I could thank them. From the very beginning, I became a member of their family. Living there, I met the Bishop of Woolwich whose testimony in the Lady Chatterley's Lover trial helped secure a historic verdict against censorship in favor of Penguin Books. I met a young actor who worked at the Old Vic and his family. I learned to play Scrabble. The vicar and his wife were very kind to me and made sure I was included in everything the family did.


Their daughter, Janet, who was twelve, loved horses as did I, so we went to a riding school together -- did someone drive us - I don't remember. But I do remember the aptly named Everest, probably the largest horse I ever rode. A perfect match for me, being tall myself. We rode together in small groups, setting out on roads with heavy traffic, something I was not used to and found a bit scary. I remember a large road with many cars that we had to cross before we reached the lovely fields and woods of county Kent.



This is where I went to church on Sundays. I didn't have to, but the vicar was good, his sermons were worth listening to and the community was so lovely, so English, so by the book old-fashioned English, and I was charmed.

But changes were coming, changes had to be made in England as well as in America and the rest of the world.  There were huge anti-apartheid demonstrations outside South Africa house in Trafalgar Square. 



Bertrand Russell, the philosopher, mathematician, social critic (and man of countless other interests and achievements) led ban the bomb demonstrations at Easter that ended in Trafalgar Square. The above symbol was initially designed for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the CND, and later adopted as the Peace Symbol we all know so well.

I never participated in anything as I felt was a guest of the country. But I observed and learned. It was all so different from Stockholm, Sweden where I grew up. 



This will be the last tale from the vicarage. I only lived there for about nine months.  This was agreed on ahead of time because little Stephen, my main responsibility, would then be ready for a longer day at school and would not need to be looked after at home.  



I lived an old-fashioned English life for those nine months. I landed in the midst of a culture that would change in a few years with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Mary Quant, mini skirts, Mod fashions, and the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius.











24 comments:

  1. Those were the days...
    Quite an experience! Pleasant times at the vicarage with the vicar's family; tumultuous times, happening outside, in London!
    Lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Simpler times...or maybe not so. Being there and watching it all, what would you say caused these changes?

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    1. A great question, let me think about that.

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  3. My life during those years that you were there is totally different than it is now and in fact our world was a completely different world than it is now. Some things are better now and some things are worse but I assume that that's with every generation. I love the old pictures they tell a story without words. I see sandie said simpler times as for me I don't long for those simpler times for most of those times I was very unhappy. And I think it's good but the world keeps changing even if it's not always for the good. Nothing is static nothing ever stays the same I never had since the beginning of time.

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  4. That sounds like a very positive experience in your life.

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  5. Wow fascinating to read and see pics. I bet we are the same height. Beautiful pic of you and horse and love reading of your experiences there in those nine months. So glad you shared about that time in yoiur life. Your experience sounds so positive and to be included in the family and have riding lessons ...so great.

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    Replies
    1. Inger, my comment at my blog where you commented and said yours disappeared - i commented back and it also disappeared...so I commented again under your new comment...basically i said i use to be
      5[11, but now probably between 5 9 and 5 10" haven't measured in a long time.

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    2. I thought it was my computer, by now it's much faster than I am. Thanks though for doing that.

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  6. What an amazing time you had with some truly wonderful people. And that horse was so handsome.

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  7. This sounds like such a wonderful, beautiful, and perfect part of your life! And peaceful, for sure. That WAS a BIG horse! Do you still keep in touch with any of the family?

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    1. No, but it would be fun to find out how the kids are doing. They were really great kids.

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  8. Sounds like a great time in your life with many memories!

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  9. You've led a very interesting life! I like your comment about wishing you could go back and thank them. I sometimes think about the people I would like to go back and thank, were it possible.

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  10. What a fun time. So lovely that they included you in everything. Is a vicar the same as a pastor or minister?

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. In broad terms. I looked it up and it gets a bit involved and my bedtime is fast approaching. Check it out, it's pretty interesting. I will look into it further later.

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  11. I'm glad you kept the photos of that wonderful experience in your youth. Riding horses sounds like it was a happy time. Good experiences are usually etched in our memory like the bad experiences. I'm so glad you were treated so well by the Vicar and his wife. Have you ever reconnected with them?

    Stay well and happy.
    Hugs, Julia

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  12. No, I was young and silly and now I really regret it.

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  13. I will miss your stories of your time in the vicarage.
    I fell in love with England when I was 10 years old.
    my mother had an English friend who brought her a stack of magazines.
    I remember sitting and reading them from cover to cover!
    and it started a life long love affair with that view of the British Isles for me!
    I finally got to spend about 2 weeks in London. the year was 1997.
    my brother and I walked all over London and in the parks. his dear wife was working
    at the US embassy. it was a fabulous experience for ME! and I'll cherish it always.

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  14. Hi Inger – this is wonderful … so English – and shows that you really enjoyed the nine months you had here. I wonder if you could find them … and thank the children at least. Fascinating snippets of memories … keeping the vicar on the straight and narrow; meeting the Bishop – of fame through Lady Chatterley’s Lover book … the trip to London to the Old Vic and learning scrabble – good game!

    All those animals … then the rides in the Kent countryside … and the anti-apartheid demonstrations, ban the bomb, and lots of other changes happening at that time. I imagine it was very different from Stockholm and your island family holidays …

    I loved the tales you’ve told us = thank you … lots of memories to draw on, or remind me of … I was never ’up with things’ – on the sidelines. Have a good weekend – all the best – Hilary …

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  15. That sounds like a wonderful time for you, a peaceful refuge with good people. Can you track down the vicar and his wife, or their children, to thank them? They would be thrilled to hear from you.

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  16. Thanks for sharing this informative post. I'm very interested in this topic. I would like to share this very short video, hoping for the feedback

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  17. Hello Inger!
    I love to read this lovely part of your life!
    I need to read the previous posts to be able to appreciate your life story!
    Thanks for sharinh my dear friend.
    Lots of hugs!

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  18. What wonderful memories! You should write a book of your life.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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