It’s sometimes really hard for me to remember things from so long ago and then write them down in the right order so please do bear with me if continuity is compromised occasionally.
(At Trafalgar House with the children)
Part of the problem I guess is that (yes) I am an old fart and so the white cells aren’t as sharp as they once were. But another challenge I have is that I write in real time (by which I mean my blogs aren’t planned or prepared. I literally just sit down for an hour every day with my iPad and even I don’t know what I’m going to write about until I start. For me that’s the real essence of a memoir in that it becomes a collection of thoughts and anecdotes rather than a story; it’s also a very cathartic experience for me in that for that hour every day I am in (my beloved) Gibraltar. (I doubt if I could write a real story to save my life). Anyways, that said…on we go.
Our leisure time in Gibraltar was always going to be lovely for us all because there is always somewhere different to go, something different to do and it truly is a wonderful place to raise little children; I’m so convinced of that there are times I think I should have worked for the Gibraltar Tourist Board. (Oh, in case you missed it in previous posts – I ‘loved’ being a young Daddy).
However, as well as the fun days there was also practicalities to consider such as balancing my job with our family life. Although our flat at Trafalgar House was lovely with its views over Alameda Gardens it was always a challenge for Carol when I wasn’t there to get in and out with the children, the buggy and all the paraphernalia that goes with that.
((It’s worth making a note here that the seventies was a very sexist period in time; in UK I remember waiting at a bus stop on my own with our (3) children and when the bus arrived several people got off to help me on – Carol in the same situation would often be ignored or left to struggle on her own)).
After a few weeks at Trafalgar House (I don’t remember exactly how many) we finally got the news that we had been allocated a Navy caravan and were thrilled; it was one stop away from a married quarter. The caravan site was situated on Queensway not far down from Rooke barracks and so it meant Carol was going to have far easier access to places – for example the NAAFI which was just up the road past Rooke opposite Edinburgh House. Recently when I was in Gibraltar I went searching for the old caravan site but I found a bus terminal had been built on the site.
(Above are a few photos showing our life in the caravan. I loved the one I took from the outside looking in at Carol through the window that shows Carol folding a frock and me holding a camera in the reflection).
It was once we had moved onto Naval property that we finally started connecting with other Naval families and becoming part of a social network; I think living up at Trafalgar House had sort of stunted that. And life on the caravan site soon became a lovely ‘norm’ for us all; Tracey would play outside again and the view of the Rock from our lounge window was to die for. Life was good.