who you callin’ a whore!!!

Living with Ty…

I remember my first big project was spending hours cleaning the kitchen, which had a lovely ‘pine’ (it was light wood) plank floor, a gas stove, a big square sink, with one cold water tap, a little fridge, a couple of cupboards and a small pine table and 4 chairs.  We spent a lot of time in this room.  We each would take stand-up baths in the kitchen, by boiling big pots of water and pouring them into a tin basin in the sink.  It’s amazing what one can used to!  Ty often helped me wash my long, ‘blonde’ hair, which was so sweet.  His hair was long too, but too often ratty & uncombed when he was in a binge. In the winter, we would keep the stove on, and that would keep us warm.  Of course, it didn’t take me long to realize that I had to keep a supply of 10ps to feed the gas meter, which was located just outside the kitchen on the landing wall.  Pay As You Go…. I guess..

Ty and his wife were great cooks.  Once, early on,  he made a ratatouille, which was delicious.  There was a little fridge in the kitchen.  Somehow there was a tin of cat food on the top shelf (at some point in the new year we adopted a kitten whom we named ‘mousetrap ) and I had the sense that some of dried catfood on the edges of the can had fallen into the leftover ratatouille which much to my horror was not covered and was placed on the fridge shelf below the cat food.  All I know was that at some point after eating leftover ratatouille, I became dreadfully ill with vomiting, and the faecal runs, aches and pains and lost hours.  God knows what bacteria or toxins that I ingested, it probably wasn’t even the catfood.  From then on, I made sure that every foodstuff stored in the fridge was forever covered.

I remember early on when I was still inhabiting Tim’s old bedroom, Ty’s mum had a visit from her daughters (one, two, three,…I cant remember?).  I believe that I stayed out of the way.  I know Ty went down to his mum’s kitchen and at some point I recall his loud drunken rants and his sisters’ screeching voices.  It was late and I was working at Jean Junction on Oxford Street 5 days a week and I had to get up early so I made my way down to my room from the kitchen.  I saw the screeching sisters at the front door and they saw me descending the staircase.  Ty was somewhere and they were screaming at him.  Even though  I had been introduced earlier in the evening to the sisters and it had been a reasonably nice encounter, the words “and take your Canadian whore with you”…………assaulted my ears and actually seared my feelings..

Some whore I thought: I was wearing a ankle length yellow teeshirt dress (with a beautiful Victorian brown haired lady graphic on the front) dress, a thick turquoise fleece floor length dressing gown and brown socks and carrying a hot water bottle AND sleeping in the downstairs bedroom, 2 floors beneath Ty’s bed. It was winter, and the house was fucking freezing.   When I would awake in those winter mornings, I could see my breath!

I never did know what the Brown family dynamics were, but I got the impression that Ty was living in his mum’s council house and the sisters figured his ailing (morbidly obese) mother was carrying him and perhaps me.  HOWEVER, from the moment I moved in to Vic Park, I paid my way and often, his too.  Whatever needed paying, like the gas meter for the cooker or the electricity meter, coal for the fire, I would pay it!  Sure, I was insulted by that ‘fish wife’ comment, but then his sisters did not know me at all, and I knew poor Ty invited a constant barrage of anger from his family.  His mother was always nice to me and I know she always helped Tony out.  Whenever they would be together in her basement, he was always decent to his mother.

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my guardian angel….

Oh, the rigours of being young…. It wasn’t easy, but at 53 and as I confess that I have not been overly good to my body, I wonder what it was like to move with ease, no creaking bones and aching muscles.  Of course, when one has the gift of youth and a strong adult body (even the right leg must have been relatively strong), one would not even notice facile activity.

Anyway, enough rambling on… Here I will recount some lucky strikes.  I can only but wonder at the escape from injury or death!

Back in 1975, when I lived with my drunken amour, and worked down Oxford Street, I had an afternoon off, so rather than go home, I thought I would go to Selfridges which was just a short walk past JJ toward Marble Arch.  I was at an intersection of xxxx (I cant recall) and Oxford Street where the big store was located.  The light was green, but as I was not situated bang on the corner, I crossed between cars (about 3 from the crosswalk (!)).  As I almost reached the pavement I stalled.  Somehow my mid-length blue trench coat had become stuck in the back bumper of the car I was passing.  So I gave my coat a pull…. nothing… a bloody great yank! … Somehow the hem of my coat was well and truly wedged in that bumper.  To my horror, I seemed to notice that the light had turned amber.  I continued with my struggle to free my coat and in those split seconds a few thoughts went through my mind…. I could take off my coat….. I could jump on the back of the car and pound on the rear window, or I could be dragged to horrendous injury or worse.  In those minute nanoseconds, I realized that I actually did not have time to take off my coat as the line of traffic had begun to move.  The next thing I know I had hurled myself onto the back of this car (I have no idea what make, I believe it was big, posh and black) and pounded on the rear window.  An older woman turned and with a mortified look on her face she must have instructed her chauffeur to stop the car.  The uniformed man approached me.  I was on my feet as thankfully the vehicle was stopped.  He gave my coat a tug… nothing!  Then he pried the bumper from its position tucked so tightly against the car, and finally I managed to extricate the offending corner of my coat from this car.  Knowing what a polite woman I am, I am sure I thanked him.  He returned to his front seat and rumbled off.  I, in shock, completed my crossing to the safety of the pavement.

I entered Selfridges and immediately sought out the ladies’ loo where I entered a stall, sat shaking and sobbed.  I did not accomplish my mission to Selfridges, whatever that was.  I made my way home, thinking of how horribly injured I would have been if I had not managed to grab that woman’s attention.  I also thanked my lucky stars that I did.

my future husband??

London and my future husband…

I was again doing my London thing for the 2nd time in 1975 when Alan and his then live-in love, Amy popped into my jean junction store.  I was in the Oxford St. store closest to Marble Arch then.  Chris P (I think)was the manager (more about him aat (at another time)).

Alan ended up buying a horrible pair of dungarees which cost him £14.99, pretty expensive back then.  He told me years later that he really did not like them, but felt he should buy something because I worked there.  I remember the dungarees were tight (like all the denim that guys and gals wore back then), with flared bottoms in a mid blue wash.  As I was the cashier I was not on commission unlike all the other young souls who worked there.

He asked me if he and Amy could spend a night at my place so they could save money.  I had moved out of Ty’s place  and was  living in a bedsit in Kilbourne.  It was a brutal breakup (for me).  However, I lucked out when I had poured out my heart to Lyn. another cashier. about what a scoundrel my Ty was and she kindly suggested a very viable solution!,  Lyn who was from Wales, lived in this bedsit, but she lived most of the time with her love, another JJ salesman, Zeev, who like me was in my 20’s (I think he was even older than me) and was from Israel.  She suggested that I move in with her and as she would hardly ever be there, it would be like my own place, and it would be helping her out by halving her rent.  It was a win-win situation for both of us and of course I accepted.

Lyn also became a head cashier.  She was such a nice, kind, bubbly gal!!

Lyn also became a head cashier. She was such a nice, kind, bubbly gal!!

Speaking of Lyn’s Israeli boyfriend, JJ, like many other boutiques on Oxford St was staffed by a sort of United Nations.  I met people from France, Italy, USA, Malta, Lebanon, Portugal, just to mention a few countries of origin.
I remember the day I moved into the bedsit.  It was a beautiful summer’s day, Lyn was as usual at Zeevs and I put on my music.  Funnily enough, I have no recollection of how I moved my stuff that day!!  What the day even more delightful was that I had a fresh bottle of codeine linctus (Maat) to make me even happier!    Sad isn’t it, or maybe pathetic is a better description!

Back to Alan and Amy: either I gave them directions and the key, or else they arrived after I had finished work that day.  My bedsit consisted of a big living/dining/sleeping area, a separate kitchen (probably communal) and a communal bathroom and toilet.  Alan and Amy slept in Lyn’s bed, me in mine.  Both were single beds.  I did not hear a peep out of them once they were in bed (thank God)!

The significance of this occurrence is that there was my husband-to-be sleeping with his girlfriend in the same room as me, years before we got together and wed!  Get It?  Aww well…

In the end after 3 or so months, I gave notice to Lyn and moved back in with Ty (no great surprise to me…).  The ending of the story of me and Ty is quite predictable…..(Maat)

blogging…

from the previous post, it is painfully obvious that I haven’t got the hang of posting text, posting text with pictures, etc…… hopefully I will figure it out soon….