My mother was a very attractive post Victorian woman, she was a war bride, worked a nine to five. Even when my sister and were still babies my mother worked a Standard Telephone Company, the equivalent of AT&T in the USA. She was a typist in what was called the Typing Pool, a room of about 50 women all siting at desks in rows doing nothing but typing for 8 hours a day. She worked her way up the ladder and by the time she retired she was the private secretary to one of the V.P.'s.
I mostly remember as a baby my mothers mom "Grandma Marie" babysitting me. She was a wonderful woman and played the piano amongst other thing but more on her later. I was told later that my Aunt Joy had a hand in the babysitting too, I don't remember that part of life but I do know that when I got a bit older I decided early on that I did not care for her and had little to do with her. My mother only had one sibling a brother named Ray.
Joy was married to Ray, he was a really nice person who was an architect for the City of London, if I remember correctly. His claim to fame was that on a private contract he designed the elevator shafts for the Queen Elizabeth II ship. He was a quiet guy who would sit there in his living room smoking his pipe, that was the fashion back then, listening to classical music on the most incredible sound system I had ever seen. Ray had a special cabinet built for all the equipment and it spanned the entire wall of his living room, it had reel to reel, a turntable, receiver, 2 amplifiers (stereo was still very new in the 50's), and a pre-amp and probably a bunch of other stuff too. It would still stand up to any of this digital and solid state crap of today. I remember he had these huge Magnaplane speakers the could reproduce so accurately and clearly it always blew me away. I think it was his influence that made me so interested in music from such a young age, thanks Ray.
I vaguely remember that Grandma Marie was breeding Boxer dogs when I was born and there was a litter born on the same day. Marie gave the runt of the litter to my mother as company for me, his name was Lustig (Lusty for short), probably because of his coloring. He was a huge monolith of a dog that always towered over me, even when I was older he would stand on his hind legs and tower over me.
I affectingly remember playing with that dog for hours on hours. We would rough and tumble but he never hurt me, not one. We were best buds and when he eventually died I said I would never own a pet again as I didn't want to go through the hurt of loosing again. Lusty had his routines, my mother would feed him in the morning then open the front door and let him out to run around the streets. Back in the 50's there were not cars to speak of so it was reasonably safe. Then we moved closer into town for a very short period of time, I have no idea why, I was too young to understand. But mom left Lusty out and he ran down the road as usual and straight across the main road of traffic. Well this time there was a car coming, a Volkswagen beetle, and Lusty hit it broad side and completely flipped this car over onto its roof. There was the police and all sorts of stuff going on when I got home from school that day. All Lusty got was a cut that turned into a nice scar on his forehead and the car was a right off. Dog 1, Car 0 :-) (I always love telling that story even today.)
Sis (Yvonne) has another wonderful memory of Lusty. He would follow her to the bust stop every morning and wait with her till the bus came. When she was out of sight he would trot down to the local butchers, yes we very much had a butchers shop as well as a green grocer, fish monger, and bakers amongst others. Anyway; Lusty would trot off the to butchers who would give him a big bone to chew on which he took home to present to my mother when she got home. In the afternoon he would be back at the bus stop waiting for Sis once again and walk her home. This was his routine each and every day, except for weekends when it was all play time! To both Yvonne and me he was a great faithful dog and play partner. Except for the obvious Boxer slobber, which we got used to in the end and ignored it. Thanks Sis for the wonderful memory.
Lusty circumed to a heart attack and we had to put him down, my first emotionally upsetting period in my life. After that affair we moved again, this time much further out of town to the very last road before what is called the "Green Belt" around London (look it up as it takes too long to explain here)
One of my fond memories of my mother was that she had a sense of humor. When I was maybe 16, the youngest you could get your drivers license in England at the time, I started to buy cars at auction and would fix them up and sell them. Usually about ever 3 months. On one of the purchases I bought a Daimler sedan, which is the closes thing to a Rolls Royce limo. So here I was a 15 year old kid in a too fancy car, I had a thought that might be fun... I got dressed up and drove the car to the main gate of STC and waited for my mother to come out... she got it immediately... she walked round to the back door and stood there waiting for me to open the door, just like a queen and chauffer, I opened the door then got in the car and slowly, very slowly drove through the crown of works all staring in the back to see who the "royal" was. We got home and had a good laugh, then she suggested that I do the same and meet my father at the station, he was working in London at that time. So there I was standing in front of the car outside the local underground station and here comes my father... he looked and turned and got on the bus... we didn't speak for about 3 months until I sold the car. It was pure jealousy on his part, "how could a 16 year old boy afford such a car?". His loss!