Thursday, 21 August 2008

Stephen John Alstead - the boy that never was

It was my birthday yesterday - I was 48. It's a bit of a scary thought to be honest. DM says I should think of it as having a 24 year old left half and a 24 year old right half and when you put the two together you get to 48. He's such a sweetie isn't he?

I am a woman. This is a fact of which I'm completely certain.

Anyway, my folks decided that they wanted to be with their broken daughter on her birthday, the first time they've been with me since my 40th, when I had a humdinger of a party but more of that another day. So, here they are. We went to Truro for the day on the train and had a lovely peaceful time wandering around the "fake" Gothic Cathedral there - it's fake because it's Victorian Gothic, not real Gothic. Mind you, its young age is no barrier to its beauty. It is quite deliciously lovely in a way that many churches are. It shares its age (in broad terms at least) with another of the most lovely churches I've ever seen - the Sacre Coeur in Paris, which is also a late 19th/early 20th century building. (Not a lot of people know that!)

Anyway, we got to telling DM that my "real" name is Stephen John Alstead and that I came into the world at 8.50pm several thousand miles away from home. My Mum went into labour at the tender age of 18 and my Dad rushed her to the military hospital where I was born a few hours later. As was the way in those seemingly unenlightened times, the strict military nurses sent my Dad home to await news of his first born.

When I arrived, the message was communicated to my Dad that he was the proud father of a baby boy. Since my folks had already decided on a name should they have a son, my Dad sent telegrams home to the family in England proclaiming the birth of their son, Stephen John!

When my Dad got to the hospital to see his new-born son, he found my Mum in deep distress, crying her eyes out. The problem? She had to tell my Dad he'd been misinformed and had got a little girl not a little boy. Ooops. She was distraught thinking my Dad would be disappointed with his little bundle of joy. Not so, fortunately for me, he was petrified that Mum was so distressed because I was seriously ill, rather than simply with two xs instead of an x and a y.

So, he was introduced to his baby daughter and fell in love with her at once. So, Stephen John Alstead, the boy that never was became me..........


GailD said...

What a fabulous story. Sounds like you had a good time on your birthday too. x

that camel woman said...

Happy 48th Birthday (belated).
Christa x