January 2015



If you blog, you will know how this page starts. ‘What’s on your mind?’ Well right now, it’s ‘grrrr’ because I finally determined to log on and blog on..and pressed something-not-send..and it disappeared!!!!!! I had almost finished this bit too. I am getting back on the horse straight away, before despair sets in…

So, I won’t do the ‘resolution’ bit again. I have been meaning to return here all year..the initial technical set-backs were almost soul destroying…isn’t it mad/bad to realise how much these glitches affect you? I feel like a child with a book in front of me…in Greek! I can’t read it.

But I can type and SAVE!!!!!

On 3rd January, this New Year, I received an invitation. An ab fab invitation to a big, family party. The Starkey family gathering.

If you have read, ‘Imagine This…’, then you may recognise the name and remember the family. They were opposite neighbours in Springwood, where we moved after we left Newcastle Road. My father, John, known as Bobby, my mother Julia and me..two and a half years old. Jackie was due in December of that year…1949, but arrived in October, prematurely. John, at that time, had no idea where we were. It’s all in the book.

I’ve just pressed ‘Save’!

All those years ago, the newly made Dykins family had a ready-made clan right over the road..headed by Charles and Hannah Starkey and their six children. Gerald was too old for us, Charlie was just about to leave school. The two older girls, Pat and Rita hung around our gate before coming in. Rita almost moved in, as a shadow to my mother. She learnt to play the paino, babysat, did shopping. But the real star of their show, chief of their clan, was Hannah. Hannah in he kitchen, Hannah in the garden, Hannah at her gate, Hannah listening to and talking to my mother. She became her mentor. She allowed her daughter to deliver a note to Mendips. She understood. It was only later that I understood just how much she was there for us.

The two younger daughters were my own age..an instant gang,  Anne was two years older, Clare the same age. We grew up together from then on, until my mother died, when I was 11…but we never lost touch, despite many moves..

So, I had a phone call, inviting me to the party. A celebration of 50 years marriage for Clare, 50 years of living for the oldest grandchild, a new teenager, a new baby. They are thriving and I love to be a part of it. I am privileged to be a part of it.

There were 180 guests..imagine that…all connected to this remarkable tribe. I was ‘spotting a Starkey’ as soon as I went in. They have a very dominant, physical gene, but far more outstanding than that, they have a spiritual gene that demonstrates love and truth. They are true to themselves and true to each other, as a group and outwards. There have been inevitable deaths, there have been illnesses, but there they all are, looking after each other. Like Pat and Rita at our Springwood gate, I hover and then enter, wanting what is there.

A highlight for me. When I walked across to Rita, she stood up, came right towards me and said, ‘oh, hello Mummy!’. How could I not be happy?

We left there hours later, having laughed, exchanged stories and memories and promising to meet again soon.

On a lighter note.I drove to the middle of a strange Business Park Community Centre and used the Sat-Nav for the first time, believe it or, on my own! ( I still use O.S. maps!).  I disregarded the voice twice on the way and got lost, of course. I decided to follow instructions going home and took, ‘the third exit on the roundabout, then straight on for 50 yards….’ only to see a pair of tall, metal gates right in front of me…so I took the fourth exit on the roundabout…several times..and eventually inches towards the gate…it opened! Sesame!

Hmmmmm..a lesson in there somewhere. Things aren’t always what they seem!

I have written about this because it was a brilliant Starkey Start to 2015 for me and it made me think of the blog more positively, as this story ties in so beautifully with the early part of ‘Imagine This, Growing up with my brother, John Lennon’…If you want to read more, then you will find the book..and Paul’s interview cd on the wesbite, right here.

If you are reading this, thank you for your patience.

I wish you all a wonderful 2015…good health to you !!!

Julia