Thoughts inspired on now being an orphan

Nothing too original1 but I was glancing back through this rather prolix ¬blog and happened on the entry, in 2008, where I described the process by which Christa became my wife.

It begins with an itch I can't reach

Without Christa, I'm reduced to the same plight as Baloo the Bear when it comes to scratching the bit of your back that you can't reach, or not without dislocating your shoulder. (It was partly thanks to her dislocating shoulder, by the way, that Christa and I ended up married!) She had somewhat loose ligaments, and had already been warned by a doctor in Germany that she would eventually need an operation to fix her left shoulder. He tried to get her to have one before she set off for her new job at Royal Holloway College, in fact. Being Christa, she simply ignored him as she had, on more than one very painful-sounding occasion, managed to get her shoulder back into its socket. But in the summer of 1974, as we were (literally) lying together in the evening sunshine in Windsor Great Park, she suddenly rolled over and started yelping.

I thought at first she'd leaned against a patch of thistles. Not so; the poor girl's shoulder had popped out of its socket. This was the first time I regretted not being able to drive (not that I would have been insured for her car at the time, but that wouldn't have deterred me2 for more than a second or so). We left her car parked where it was and walked (not too far) to the local hospital's A&E3 department. There (for the first time) I heard her yell with pain while I was being interviewed by a PC Plod who, until he was set right by the Junior doctor, was firmly convinced I was a thug who had just committed some dreadful violence on the poor girl.

Anyway, the upshot was that she was scheduled for surgery within a month or so (during the University summer break) and was forbidden by the medicos to even think of returning to Germany before the operation. This gave me all the time needed to finish convincing her to stay with me in the UK and get married rather than return to do the one-year post-grad certificate she needed to become a more senior teacher in the German school4 system.

By contrast...

... my parents met while still at secondary school, and eventually got married in August 1940 (a year older than I was when I married in September 1974). They were very alarmed at the prospect of my marrying so young... and (what's worse) of my choosing a German lady six years older than me...

Dad adjusted quickly enough, but dear Mama simply never could, and never did. That was her loss, and a source of quite some bitterness on my part. However, I think it worked out pretty well :-)



1  I'm too tired for that :-)
2  Recall the dialogue between "Josh" and "Donna" in The West Wing:
If you were in hospital, I wouldn't stop for a beer...
If you were in hospital, I wouldn't stop for a red light.
3  For my younger reader, remember this was over four decades ago: the National Health Service, although doubtless even then cash-strapped, was managing to keep accident and emergency departments open.
4  German school teachers at the time were highly paid and highly qualified Civil Servants. She had already completed six years of University courses before even coming over to the UK.