Today my daughter is 42. I'm sure she'll forgive my telling you, as age doesn't seem to matter so much today and my blog name is a pseudonym. As a mother, my mind inevitably flicks back to September 1969. Mindsets and attitudes were so different back then. In that Birmingham maternity ward, I listened to the nurses and never dared complain. Although a normal birth at 9.5 lb, my first, and I was desperate to breastfeed and establish that vital mother-child bond, the nurses took the baby away to the nursery for 12 hours. By the time they brought her back, the bond was broken. Did they realise what they had stupidly done?
Are things better today? A British man, David Bromley, lay dead in the tiny Normandy village of Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte for more than 7 months. His family hadn't enquired, and the other village residents didn't realise as the man was 70, didn't speak French nor had he tried to integrate since his arrival. How sad is that?
All of this reinforces the need to keep contacts with your family, friends and neighbours. Don't be isolated. Show your family you care; don't let them break contact with you, however far away they may be.
And to my beautiful daughter: Happy birthday!