Rosemary and Bill move to Iran

What follows is a short story from Rosemary’s past. After talking with her, I have taken our discussion and turned it into a series of small stories highlighting the incredible life that she has led. Direct quotes from our discussion are highlighted in quotation marks. All else is a retelling written by yours truly.

After Sicily, Rosemary and Bill had come back to England and spent about eighteen months there. Rosemary quickly recovered from her sickness under the care of her mother and the farm. As she recovered, she learned how to look after her child.

During those eighteen months the family moved three times, about six months in each house. It was even more temporary than their time in Sicily, it would seem. Then Bill got orders suddenly to move to Iran and Rosemary found herself, with a six-month-old and a two-year-old, flying alone to Iran. Bill had to leave a month earlier to get things set up and while it gave more time for Rosemary to prepare – how do you prepare when you have no idea as to the place you are going? – it also meant flying alone with two young children.

By today’s standards the flight was slow and bumpy, a little propellor plane that seemed to move ever so precariously through the air compaired to flights nowadays. But they made it there in one piece and aside from having to look after two children under the age of three, the flight was relatively uneventful.

As soon as they landed in Tehran, the heat enveloped them. Bill was there and waiting with a taxi to take them home. Inside the house it was over twenty-six degrees Celsius (over eighty degrees Fahrenheit). Well, in Britain it rarely got that hot out of doors and Rosemary was definitely not used to the heat. Neither was her six-month-old son, who in his short life had never experienced such heat. He cried and cried and cried, until, in a last-ditch attempt to stop the noise, Bill suggested they put him in his carrycot and put that in the crib. Maybe he was only comfortable in the carrycot.

Note from the writer: Carrycots are rarely used nowadays but to anyone who doesn’t know what they are, they are basically baskets that can be fixed to wheels like a pram. Just remember those old cartoons (think Tom and Jerry era) which feature those strange prams with baskets that can be lifted off of them. That’s more or less it.

Anyway, it worked and he fell asleep, lying in his carrycot which was lying in his crib.

The apartment that Rosemary and Bill found themselves in was a small, ground-level place in downtown Tehran. It was far from the farms of England and different from their place in Sicily too, although similarly they did have a very friendly landlord who lived in the top floor of the apartment building. He was a single man, probably in his sixties, who was very kind and patient with the strange British couple who had just moved in downstairs, bringing their crying children with them.

There was also an American family who lived in between them and the landlord. Over the four years in Iran, Rosemary and Bill would become close friends with this older American couple. There were many American families in Iran at the time. The oil business brought many foreigners into the country, including Rosemary and Bill, and downtown Tehran it seemed was a smorgasbord of people from differing walks of life. It was a smorgasbord that would keep Rosemary and Bill for the next few years.

Stay tuned for more stories from the life of Rosemary. Please note: these stories will not necessarily hold any chronological grounding. They are designed as snippets of understanding into the life of Rosemary and while some will hold chronology, others may not.

Photo Credits: The photo in the logo was provided by Omid Armin on Unsplash. It is an image of an alleyway in Pamenar, Tehran. If you would like to see more work by this photographer, please click here.