“My father was a war correspondent then and he met my mother when a group of them came to live near Charing Cross Road. They were being cared for by a local priest and my father was sent to do a story on them for the London Gazette. They called my mother Gertie but her real name Gertruda Rebecca Rosenberg.’
“Her biography “Escaping the Reich’ was a best seller.” She writes crime novels these days.’
“I must admit that I’ve never read a book by your mother.’
“That’s alright many people haven’t she sells more books in Poland and Czechoslovakia than she does here in England.’
“What do you your parents do?’
“My father is a bricklayer and my mother works at home.’ We are very humble people my family.
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Yes I have two younger brothers; John and Ralph.’ My sister Maureen died when I was only five.’ “What about you?’
“No I’m an only child unfortunately; I would have loved a brother or sister to play with.
“I am seven years older than John and ten years older than our Ralph.’
“What made you want to join the RAF then?’
“I wanted to see the world I guess.’ Living in North Shields didn’t offer much in the way of Job prospects.’ I left school to start my working life as a machinist in a clothing factory. I saw the advert in the local paper and wrote off.’
“So do you want to make a career out of being in the RAF then?
“Put it this way; I would rather be in the RAF than working back home. I hope one day to settle down and move away from North Shields.
“You seem to know what you want out of life.’
“What about you Norman what are your plans?’
“Well I’m only nineteen and like you I want to travel a bit. I guess I will be around thirty when my father hands the newspaper over to me to run.
“I want to settle down before then of course and have a family of my own.’
“Well at least you will have a job for life.’
“Yes, as long as people buy newspapers.’ Tell me do you like dancing?’
Yes, the base has the odd dance; but I’ve only been the once since I joined.
“So what other interests do you have?’
“I like going to the cinema, I haven’t been to the theatre but enjoy the plays that the RAF put on.’
“I must take you to see a real drama sometime.’ My mother is a big theatre goer.’
“What about your father?’
“My father goes fishing a lot; he travels all over fishing for big carp and pike.’
I haven’t done fresh water fishing but coming from a fishing town the fish quay is just down the street from where I live and I was never away when I was young as there was little else to do.’
“You will get on well with my father then.’
“You’re jumping ahead of yourself aren’t you?’ we’ve gone from going to see a football match, going to the theatre to meeting your parents in only two and a half hours.’
Norman laughed; look I like you Agnes very much. They say that you know when you have met the right person that you’d like to spend your whole life with after only five minutes of talking with them.’