Friday, October 21, 2005
As you can see I have been silent for a a few weeks. Well that's because we have been in the UK in my old home city, Bradford, to finalise the sale of my Father's house and help him move out. It was quite an emotional time - going through my old desk and seeing letters from my deceased brother George written to me when I was at University in 1977. I threw so much junk out but kept things like an invitation to my 21st birthday party!!!
As a family we moved into 6 Heaton Grove in 1965 - 41 years ago. The house meant so much to us all but was becoming very lonely and empty with only my Father living in it as my Mother died 6 years ago.
41 years ago there were no asians living in England but now in Bradford there are 70.000 out of a population of 300.000. So it was no surprise that a Pakistani gentleman, Mr Nawaz (my Father's neighbour and owner of 6 other houses in the same street) bought the house. We saw him on several occasions last week and were actually invited to his house to a splendid Asian meal in a very gawdy and opulent asian style dining room - the surprise was that it was laid on for us alone although in the end his daughter, Shazia, sat with us. She told us she had just been to Pakistan to marry her cousin (arranged marriage of course) and was getting to know him on the phone while preparing the paperwork for him to come and live in England! Eladio and I enjoyed the meal enormously as we adore curries but my poor Father ate very genteely.
The night before we left we were invited to dinner by the Wrights (Susan the daugher aged 71 and Margaritte the Mother aged 97!!!). They had been my family's neigbours since they moved into Heaton Grove. The dinner was a different affair to the Pakistani one the night before. Susan and Margaritte will be moving out now that my Father has left. Mr Nawaz, of course, wants to buy their house but they are not on good terms with him as his daughter once called Susan a "racist pig".
It was amazing to see tears in Margaritte's eyes as we left. They have been great neighbours, despite their funny little ways. They have also "looked after" my Father by inviting him over every Sunday afternoon for afternoon tea to do the Times crossword together.
Life in Heaton Grove will never be the same.