The year of 1973 was almost all spent in London! It was an eventful period. Looking at the pictures it is clear that Mona came back in the summer now evidently pregnant! At this time she would have taken Maxwell, the cat, to Sweden. During this visit a rare family gathering can be seen outside my grandparents’ house in Croydon. The reader can enjoy the two pictures on display and sort out who the photographers were.
Sometime around this time I had started a new job. Someone said a person speaking Portuguese was needed at the Banco do Brasil near St. Paul’s Cathedral. I was interviewed and offered the job by the Brazilian manager. In reality I was working for the Portuguese bank BPA- Banco Portugues do Atlantico. My job was to send remittances (money) from Portuguese immigrants back to Portugal. At this time immigrant remittances were an important part of the Portuguese economy . Some of the clients came from far away as Wales with their money in cash. Every morning I awaited a fax message stating the actual exchange rate. Someone in charge for this office once came and gave me some instructions. I kept this job right up to my final return to Sweden so when I did arrive there it was as a bank clerk.
The king of Sweden Gustav VI died on the 15th September in Helsingborg so the chap I was serving drinks to, a few months earlier at the Tramp Club in Jermyn Street was now the Swedish king under the name of Carl XVI Gustav. He was crowned on the very same day of his grandfather’s death, exactly 40 years ago, yesterday.
My first teenage visit to London was in 1965. It was the most exciting time to come to London. The Beatles had made their impact on the world of pop so there was just nowhere I’d rather be.
This was my second visit since my grandfather and Pat who was now my grandmother had moved to Croydon and Hurst View Road. It was a nice house on the outskirts and Pat drove the car to several exciting places around the area where a teenager might find clothes, shoes and music to make the envy of many upon one’s return. One thing, I remember acquiring on this trip, was a pair of Beatles boots with elastic on the side! Gosh, they were trendy!
On one of these outings we visited the Hollands near Streatham common. This was Pat’s daughter Anne’s and Basil’s family. There was Judith, Peter, Michael, Paul and Tracy! I remember us boys playing conkers as I wondered how such a large family got fed and taken care of. Mother Anne seemed to have everything under control.
The TV programmes in England were so much more varied and interesting than those in Portugal. It felt as if I had moved 100 years forward in time. Top of the Pops and hilarious comedies such as “Till death do us part” and “Steptoe and son”- were the sort of things that would catch my endless attention. On my head remained the songs in the charts and particularly one followed all the way back to Carcavelos- “Look through any window” by the Hollies. Unfortunately I didn’t take the record with me and subsequent searching in the Cascais area gave no results!!