Settling Back in England

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.

When Rosemary married, her life changed. She had grown up in the English countryside but a few short weeks after her marriage she found herself in Sicily. After that it was Iran, then Melbourne, then Perth. Travelling was synonymous with marriage, it seemed.

But now, just as abruptly as it started, the travelling stopped. They were back in England. Life was… normal. Or at least, it was as normal as it could be with six children (their sixth was born in the first few years of moving back to England).

In fact, she had gone to the doctor to ask if she could have a home birth. Absolutely not, he said, you’re far too old. Rosemary was only thirty-six (or thereabouts) so it probably wasn’t the most pleasant of things Rosemary could hear. But he also insisted she spend ten days in hospital resting after giving birth. And that she enjoyed very much. When you have five, now six, children, rest is not a thing easily discovered.

So that was it, their travelling days, it seemed, were over. Bill had a normal job, to which he commuted daily. Rosemary had the children who, at one point, were going to three different schools, six days a week (none of this two-day weekend nonsense). And they had found a house. It was a lovely, old-English house about fifteen miles outside of central London in a place called Purley. And they had a lovely church too that they found. Life began to stabilise, if that’s the right word for it.

Rosemary still missed Australia. She missed the friends they had made, the weather (let’s be honest, who could blame her). She missed their first home. But Rosemary was never one for complaining. She was a farm girl, after all. There was no dillydallying on the farm. And so she got to work making a life for her and her family in Purley. It was good, Purley was. Maybe a little bit more rainy than Australia. But still good.

Rosemary and the family were in Purley around five years and not much of anything in particular happened in those years. It was a definite change of pace from what she was used to but with six children, all learning and growing and experiencing the world at hyper-speed, she had enough to keep her busy. This was her life now and she made the most of it.

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.