Thursday, June 14, 2012

We're off to see the World!



We didn’t get any further than Toronto. It was June 16th, 1966 and 12 days married. We were full of the first throes of marital bliss. After spending our honeymoon in Burntisland, an 11km train ride from Edinburgh; we said our goodbyes to friends and family and shipped our worldly belonging to arrive by ship after the boat strike. Hugely disappointed we would not be sailing, Peter had to drag me across the tarmac for my first plane ride.

As I recall it was a Boeing 707 with a Rolls Royce engine. Not that I paid much attention as I cried for the first two hours but perked up when the ‘stewardess’ offered me a Manhattan. Not knowing what it was but liking the exotic name, I managed to quaff a couple before I fell asleep much to the relief of my new husband. We arrived in Montreal tired and excited to brilliant sunshine. Before long we were on the train travelling west to Toronto and our new life as husband and wife.

Culture shock hit us like a blast of heat. Just like the temperature at Union Station. It was in the mid twenties and humid. We felt it even more as we were both wearing wool suits! One did not Google the temp. or traffic problems in the dark ages. My cousin and his wife, suitably dressed for the weather, were there to meet us in a large white ’57 Chevy with red terry cloth covering the seats. No air.

We oohed and aahed over this and marvelled at the overpasses and the wide lanes of traffic. It was all so different. We made our way through the city and arrived at the Golden Mile and soon arrived at my cousin’s apartment in Scarborough. They had been in Canada for ten years so we chuckled at them when they mixed Canadian slang with a Scottish accent. We stayed with them and their children for a few weeks until we managed to rent our own place.

June 1966 : Lynden Johnson was president of the USA and Lester B Pearson was prime Minister of Canada.  So many changes but how prophetic is this song written and recorded by the Beatles the week I arrived in Canada. Here are some of the lyrics. It’s just taken me forty six years to get here!!

Paper back writer (paperback writer)
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few,
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight.
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer.

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Liz and I met yesterday and found it to be rather frustrating. A few changes have to be made but it has put us out of sinc with how we normally work. However we’ll persevere and will have the manuscript ready in a few weeks to be sent out to publishers.

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Don't forget that the book launch of the year happens tonight in Toronto.  VickiDelany and CB Forrest are launching their latest books, Gold Mountain and The Devil's Dust at Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St, East, Toronto. As an added treat their editor, Allister Thompson will be providing some fabulous music.  Hope to see you all there.

Slainte,
Pam


3 comments:

Stephanie said...

What an adventure you and Peter had - moving so far away from home at such a young age, it sounds ver glamorous! Have you ever thought of this as fodder for a future novel?

Stephanie said...

What an adventure you and Peter had - moving so far away from home at such a young age, it sounds ver glamorous! Have you ever thought of this as fodder for a future novel?

Pam said...

Hi Stephanie,
It has been an adventure and yes, using poetic licence I hope to use the 'fodder' sometime and write about it all. Maybe I will give you the next chapter on the blog. You looked wonderful with your short hair.
Hope I see you soon.
Pam