The Auntie Doris Years: 1961


We still had ruddy Harold MacMillan as the Prime Minister. He had Enoch Powell in the cabinet as the Health Minister. A couple of dyed in the wool Tories, it seems surprising that they made the contraceptive pill available on the National Health, but they did. They only made it available to married women though. It was too late for me, even if I had have been married. I was 47, and for some reason I had never managed to get pregnant. Never mind what some people might say. I never did have a child of my own. I reckon that there must have been something up with my particulars because it wasn’t that I never went through with all the necessary palaver. When Raymond was in the mood, we used to do it quite often, and when he wasn’t well, let’s just say I had other admirers who might get me beef dripping or provide me with other little services, and what the old man didn’t know couldn’t do him any harm could it?
It came a bit too late for April May an all, because her and Little Cyril didn’t seem to have been married for more than five minutes when she started putting on a bit of weight in the middle. That September she gave birth to a little lad, and they decided to call him Michael. I have to say that I was ruddy well delighted and made enough of a fuss of him to make up for the fact that his maternal grandmother had died the previous year. He still had one grandparent though, as my Raymond’s mum was still hanging on and living with us.
Me and Raymond helped to paint him a little room all in pale blue, and we went down to Woolworth’s and bought him a little cot. Ruddy Cyril had taken the bottom drawer out of the chest of drawers in the bedroom and was going to have him sleep in there. Fair enough, he had put some blankets in it, but the poor little chap might have got a splinter on his fingers from the ruddy sides of the thing. That chest of drawers might have had a walnut veneer, but inside it was all cheap plywood. Like my Father. I reckon it was him that had bought it in the first place.
I sometimes wonder if I would have been as thrilled about my new baby nephew if I had known how he was going to turn out. You know what? Of course I would. Babies are babies aren’t they. It was odds on that he was going to turn out to be a useless lazy lump, all you had to do was look between his legs to work that out, but I didn’t mind. And to some extent I still don’t. Me and my nephew Michael are like Britain and America. One with elegance, dignity, style, history and breeding, and the other with a self important, clever clogs “look at me!” attitude and a dearth of common sense. But we have a ‘special relationship’ so we tend to ignore the differences and get along. I still don’t like it when he fiddles around with my old tights though. Filthy so and so.
Auntie Doris’s Top Pop Hit of 1961: “Stranger on the Shore” by Mr Acker Bilk. A beautiful piece of music. But what kind of a name is Acker Bilk? And no… It doesn’t make any more sense when you realise that it rhymes with knacker milk. Whatever that is.

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