Sylvie, my adopted mother, her life – continued.

Stan worked long hours as a lorry driver but it seems he did little else other than that. Sylvie complained about his lack of personal hygiene and the fact that he had very little interest in anything except smoking. I did get to know Stan, he even came to stay with us many years after their divorce when I was aged about eleven or twelve, when he broke his leg falling off of a lorry and wasn’t able to look after himself. He was a quiet man and seemed soulless, he didn’t seem to have any life in him, smoking constantly, skeletally thin and tall; he never appeared or smelled clean. I don’t know if he ever went to work again after the accident and there was never any suggestion of him being involved with any other women after Sylvie.

A third child was born only eighteen months after the second and this time it was a boy,the only boy Sylvie was to have. There were numerous rumours circulating on the estate as to the paternity of this child as by now Sylvie had gained somewhat of a reputation due to her liaisons with some of the men who lived there, including married men and the husbands of neighbours and friends.

As recently as last year at a family wedding, Sylvie’s sister, when speaking of her, mentioned the fact that Sylvie was rumoured to have slept with all three brothers in one family at one time or another, a family we had known well. At Sylvie’s funeral one of these brothers had turned up and announced himself to be the father of Sylvie’s son; it has to be said that there is a striking similarity. Despite being aware of these rumours for many years before, Sylvie never went to any effort to confirm or deny them, she would simply smile and shrug her shoulders.

Despite the rumours Sylvie and Stan stayed together for some years after, having another girl four to five years after the son was born. However, within a few years after that they no longer had anything that they could call a marriage. By this time Sylvie was living life as though she was a single woman, going out when she pleased, sometimes staying out all night. It was around this time that she started making the trips to Alconbury with her friend Josie.

Josie had been married two or three times and had lived with several different men, She was a large character, both in personality and size. She was tall and statuesque, with long dark hair, wore bright red lipstick and red nail varnish on long talon like nails. Standing about five foot ten, with size nine feet,  she had manly features and a deep voice from many years of heavy smoking. The reason I knew about her size nine feet is because of a story Sylvie would love to tell us; Josie had been proudly showing off a new pair of thigh length boots that she had bought, Sylvie described them as being enormous, size nine with immense stiletto heels, about six inches. When asking her how on earth she could wear them, Josie had replied that they were great for in the bedroom. Sylvie had questioned what for, picturing Josie dressed up in the boots and little else, when Josie declared, “Well when I’m on top, I can straddle a single bed in these!”


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