Marking time

In the sense that we had to wait a bit before we could be married I suppose ‘marking time’ is a fair description. I did cross the months off the calendar, and from July 1955 crossed the days off! However I was never sitting around brooding about it but getting on with life quite happily with plenty to keep me occupied. I had sat the first lot of Bank exams to become an Associate of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland, but elected not to continue the exams to become a Member. I knew there wouldn’t be much call for Banking Law in my future life. Instead I did a couple of courses from the Methodist Study Centre which I thought would be more useful. I only gave up as JMA. Secretary and Sunday School teacher at Ardgowan Church a few weeks before the wedding. (I remember the ‘Farewell’ event at the Sunday School which was for two of us, Phyllis and me. A real teary time it was for us both!)

A lot of my time was spent with Sheina and Lily and others, and every Friday I went to John’s parents for my tea. John’s Mum treated me like another daughter and I got to know his three sisters much better. John’s Dad was a dog-lover and they had a lovely Welsh corgi who at one point slipped her lead at the wrong time! So the resulting litter was born on a Friday night when only John’s Mum and I were there. The wee mother was so competent and busy, and in no time was lying smugly with four wee pups. I found it very interesting having not seen a birth up till then. All found good homes.

I had my annual week in Findochty and John had his holidays, but we missed the long summer vacs from College. At one point in my Roxburgh Church connection, Sheina and Lily and I got permission to start a club for 10-12 year-old girls. It seemed to fill a gap and to begin with about 50 turned up. Fortunately for us the number went down to about 35 after a couple of weeks and we enjoyed it. We had lots of games, some quiet and some energetic, dancing, netball and simple cookery demonstrations and, amazingly enough, there were very few behaviour problems so we must have been doing something right. We were visited by senior members of the congregation now and then, probably to make sure we weren’t wrecking the Hall! We always ended the evening with a Bible reading, a (very) short talk and a hymn.

A new young Minister and his wife came and the Girls’ Club didn’t survive. It was a new beginning with new ways of doing things. Sheina and Lily and I were a wee bit disappointed but other things came along. The Minister, Gordon, and his wife Vida were good with the young people and we all liked them very much. One memory I have is of Vida inviting me to the Manse to learn how to make Christmas puddings. To tell the truth, from a young age I never liked Christmas Pudding or rich fruit cakes and still don’t. However, I was pleased she’d asked me to help. All the ingredients were laid out and bowls ready. So as instructed, I weighed it all out then she left me to carry on. Eventually I down-loaded the mixture into the bowls. So far so good, except that I had some bowls left over. I called Vida to say I was finished and there wasn’t enough to fill the bowls. It was terribly embarrassing to have it pointed out that I had forgotten to put the dried fruit in!! So I had to put it all back in the huge mixing bowl and stir in the fruit and share it out again. That was the first and the last time I ever tangled with Christmas pudding. Give me a nice creamy trifle like my Mum used to make and I’ll be happy to pass on the pudding!


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