50 Years Ago. Not My Happiest New Year

Its a fact as we grow older we often return in our memories to times long past. In Belfast in _greengrocers_extJanuary 1967 I lived above my brother-in-law’s shop. The photo is not the actual shop but a close resemblance. I had been out of the Navy about a year and was working as a mechanic for Blue Peter Van Rentals. I had been married for approx four years and things were not going well. I came home from work one evening and Irene (first wife)had a nice meal prepared for me. I say nice because we had a dessert of steamed pudding and custard. This was a favourite of mine and I complimented her for it. The next morning I came down the stairs to go to work, my brother-in-law was waiting for me. He was clearly distressed and had something to tell me. He said when he came into the shop the first thing he noticed was two cans of tinned puddings missing from a top shelf. He explained the tins had bee gathering dust there for a very long time but never sold. That was why he was so quick to notice them missing. We went to the dust bin at the back of the shop and he showed me the two empty cans. I tell you, at that moment the pudding felt like lead in my stomach. I was furious as I climbed the stairs to confront Irene. Of course she denied having stolen the tins, but the facts were more than proof positive. After a brief row, I headed off to work, I still needed to make a living. All day long at work I wrestled with this latest dilemma, what was I to do. Certainly we’d have to move out, how could she ever be trusted again. When I arrived home there was no sign of anyone, lights were out and the flat was quiet. On the kitchen table was a note telling me she had left and gone home to Scotland. She was not going to stay and be accused of stealing?? but she’d really run off in shame. I really wasn’t unhappy about this, except for the fact she had taken my baby daughter Caroline with her. Not my happiest start to a new year, but it did cause me to look to my future.  A year later I arrived in Canada to start a new life. In1969 in the Law Courts of Nova Scotia, I  divorced Irene and gained custody of my daughter. Looking back all these years later, it wasn’t such a bad new year in 1967 after all. It was the start to a new life, it made me face up to my problems and deal with them.

God Bless and keep reading


About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Belfast Social History, family, veterans and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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