Farewell Dennis

Pollards hill

Most of us learn in time to understand that we all are different. Uncle Dennis and I did not always hit it well, but whether it was for conflicting personalities or the flow of circumstances is not important any longer. I choose today to remember you, Dennis Frith, for the man you were, and my memories attached to you.

My first encounter, that I remember, was visiting the family in the late fifties at your house in Thornton Heath. I remember that from the back window I could see a large cemetery. But most of all you made cakes at home. I believe somehow that you were beginning your successful career in the business of pastry. The smell and looks of sugar icing and whipped cream is something that no child can ignore. You were never one for hanging around chatting as I recall!

I did however get a better picture of you, when I took my big step, of starting a new life in 1968. Then, you and auntie Dot played a main role. By this time you had built up a considerable activity with several shops in the south of London and own production in what was called Frtith’s Patisserie. Your home and kitchens were in Barnes, so that’s where I came. You fixed me up with a room at Mrs Meltzer’s and gave me my first employment working at your office in Richmond. No one would ever ignore how important this was for me to start off my life as an adult.

Your favourite song was, for along time, Cliff Richard’s “Living Doll” and you did never miss an episode of the Forsythe Saga on television.

By this time you played tennis and had a passion for antiques. You were always in the look for a rare old painting and meticulously learned more. Whatever you did had a purpose and was well in line with the self made man you were. Rest in peace and thank you.

Foot note- In this picture from left to right- My grandmother Bua, auntie Dot, uncle Bernard, uncle Dennis, and my grandmother Dorothy Begernie Ineichen. Standing behind- my father João and my grandfather Joseph Ineichen. The picture was probably taken in 1951 in connection with my parents marriage on the 14 July.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTN9NuSj43s

 

 

The lonely teenager!

St. OsmondWhen I started my life in London I lost all my friends from Portugal. It was necessary to build up a new social network from scratch! My aunt Dorothy was aware of this and tried to suggest some ways of getting there.

One activity that had worked well for her when she was young was to go skating. There was a big hall in Richmond and I believe I went there with my cousins Stephen and Louise. I had never been on ice. We rented the skates there and it was all a question of getting forward as all the others swirled past me at great speeds. I held on to the railings as long as possible. It must have been an amusing sight…so amusing that some girls decided to push me just as I was beginning to get the hang of it.

Another activity was at the local gathering of teenagers at the St. Osmond’s Catholic Church just down the road in Castelnau. They had a piano and I suppose I made up I could play a few notes. Truth is, there was a girl that was talking to me and seemed genuinely interested in my playing progress. So far so good… But my luck was short-lived. A group of three boys with short hair were waiting for me outside the hall and successfully chased me away from the youth club. It all boiled down to a quick retreat through the streets of Barnes!

It is not easy to break into someone else’s turf!