Monday, 2 July 2018

A Nineteen Sixties Marriage.

From A Life in Short Pieces: Piece Six.


I was married in the early 1960s. People married young then.  In those years it seemed that the world was changing, although many of the changes were most vigorously expressed along the Kings Road in London, at wild music gigs like Glastonbury and on television with the daring political satire show That Was the Week That Was. Just a few years before that I had mocked a friend for liking a group called The Beatles. (‘What a stupid name!’)That was around the time I first heard another friend refer to Mr Presley as Elvis as though he were her brother.

The American pursuit of victory in Vietnam was becoming increasingly unpopular in Britain, who didn’t participate. In America too there was dissent as some young men fled the draft. (I met one of these former so-called ‘draft dodgers’ years later when I trained teachers in Sunderland.)

Then, shortly before noon on November 22, 1963, President John F Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas.

When I heard this terrible news, I was hoovering the sitting room in my new house. That was when I really know the world had changed.

A Nineteen Sixties Marriage.


This was a marriage that went to work
and loved it; it wore flowers in its hair;
it sported sober suits and hippy skirts; it pushed
children in prams and went to parents’ meetings.

At the seaside it pulled on two ponchos
to keep warm; it went to the races, to rugby matches
and school plays; it waived its children off to their new life
and welcome them back again .

This is a marriage that watched  cricket, football
and cop-shows on TV; it read newspapers at length;
it read books and wrote them; it posted risky stories
into bright red boxes; it kept its secrets.

It visited hospitals and clinics, holding
its breath for good news and bad.

This is a marriage that still holds hands


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