Friday, 27 January 2012

Feeling Rather Sad

My son rang to say he had received an email about an estate. He rang the heirhunter people who had traced him. It appears that my poor old ex-husband (shown above with our son) died in March last year. As we haven't been in touch, we know no more.

Poor old thing. He was so different when young: an enterprising and adventurous teenager, going hill walking and youth hostelling in the Lake District, living abroad and attending a French University, gaining his degree there and working as an assistant teacher in a French School, before getting a scholarship to Oxford and a good Modern Languages degree.

I met him in Paris where he spent time during his Easter university vacation. After completing his degree we lived in Algeria and Saudi Arabia where he taught English. Returning to UK he taught at a Language school in London and Oxford, making friends with a colleague who cooked for the students, Jennifer Paterson, later of Fat Ladies fame. After our son was born he taught at a grammar school in Westcliff, where he was very popular with the children, and spent some weekends in London working for the Simon Community with homeless men.

Unfortunately he went to France in 1968 and was somehow involved in the May riots in Paris and disappeared for the rest of the summer, before appearing again in September, obviously mentally ill, at his parent's house in London. To me, he never really recovered: he had toured France with the Living Theatre during that missing summer, and discovered psychedelic drugs.

We separated after this, and he lived in Barcelona for a few years, with a new relationship and another son, but they split up and he lived alone in London afterwards.

I shall endeavour to find out more about why we did not hear about his death until now, as I gave him a mobile phone which had my number on it, and he had written down several family addresses and telephone numbers. Very strange indeed. And very sad.

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