Tiana sat in the garden in the cool of the day as Marie slept in her crib. She was the most beautiful baby Tiana had ever seen and her brother Chrysan looked just like her. Though she enjoyed the company of her twins, she looked forward to setting up Sanderstead Tiny Feet; a nursery for ages zero to five. Prior to delivery, she had been re-orientated with the operations of the Freeman Home and Garden while George and Rose diverted their energy to ensure smooth running of the business outside the home.
Dahlia Monk, the thirty five year old Spanish live in house keeper was very efficient in updating Tiana on the state of affairs in the Home and Tiana gave the feedback to Rose and George. Prior to Tiana’s arrival, Dahlia had combined her housekeeping role with the management of the home and garden. While Tiana comfortably managed the two roles in her previous trip, Dahlia struggled with them. The farm manager, Singh Raj had to step in and take on additional responsibilities to help Dahlia. Tiana’s return to the Freeman’s home was thus seen as a relief. Singh was able to step down and Tiana’s role as administrator for the home and garden was reinstated. Unlike Tiana, Dahlia didn’t need to go to school; she was more homely and loved to bake cakes.
The Freeman family also employed an eighteen year old Rita Smart as a live out nanny to assist with Chrysan and Marie. Rita lived down the street and worked from seven o’clock in the mornings to seven o’clock in the evenings. She was such an extrovert, that she insisted on taking the children out daily. She enjoyed pushing the twin pram and buggy to the local library, which was a ten minute bus ride away. While Marie appeared to enjoy the baby sessions at the library on Tuesdays, Chrysan had his moments. On days they were not in the library, she took them to Sanderstead Activity Group for an hour. This was a drop in charity set up by the government that allowed children to drop in and play for up to one hour daily. Tiana enjoyed the company of Rita because she was a very chatty lady. She also had the opportunity to learn more about the British culture from Rita.
Jayden spent the summer evening in the oval artificial pool with his family before Marie began to show signs of distress and had to be taken out of the water. Chrysan giggled as Jayden splashed water on him. He was more playful and energetic than his sister, ate twice as much as she did and practically stayed awake all day. While Marie slept with ease and with little persuasion, Chrysan had to be rocked to sleep. He was given a shower every night, had his body massaged with oil and stretched before he could sleep at night.
Tiana was once again lost in her thoughts, for the past six years had left a strain on her emotions. She knew what it was to have a dashed hope and bruised ego. Her marriage to Jayden had been a cradle of intervention to what could have been a disastrous end to her love life. She occasionally had flash backs of her previous trip to the Freeman’s and only came round when she heard the children or Jayden.
Sometimes she had doubts about her sense of belonging; constantly experiencing cultural shock; life was as different as an outsider. She had recently been grafted into the Freeman Home and had quite a lot to learn. The Freeman Home and Garden was hers and her children served as another cradle of intervention to what would have been a lonely marriage. Though married to Jayden, the past events were still vivid in her memory but the children’s constant demands kept her from drowning in her thoughts. She would never have guessed the end from the beginning. The recent years’ events had overtaken her emotions and she realised that she had got married before sorting out her feelings. She had learn to love and trust genuinely again. The peaceful look on Marie’s face as she slept and the light giggles from Chrysan once again assured her that she had made the right move.
At twenty nine, apart from overseeing the Freeman Home and Garden, she also looked after her twins and husband. George and Rose began their day by inspecting the Freeman Garden daily. Next they went and volunteered in the local church for two hours before visiting Dora. They return home for lunch and siesta and in the evenings, they went to socialise at the bar in Croham Park bed and breakfast.
Tiana lived with her family in the five bedroom cottage attached to a half acre garden, sectioned by hedges in Sanderstead. The cottage was assessable through a patio garden from the narrow street which isn’t motorable. Cars were packed on adjacent streets. The Freeman family had one car; a van that delivered the garden produce to the market and supplied nearby commercial outlets with dairy products. The cottage had an exit door at its rear that led to the lawn which opened up to the north garden.
The north garden was where the four dairy cows were bred and milked daily from spring to autumn. A portion of the north garden was sectioned off and used for grooming the two horses. George and Rose enjoyed horse riding for many years, even before they got married. The east garden was used for poultry, fish pond and rabbits’ hutch and the west garden was used to cultivate fruits and vegetables. The oval artificial pool and garden seat were positioned on the lawn at the rear garden.
The cottage next door belonged to the Jacks, who ran a respite centre; Jack + Sons Home. This was Dora’s care home and on his return to the UK, Jayden worked there voluntarily. For Tiana, Jack + Sons served as another cradle of intervention for Jayden to return to the UK and re-integrate with the system after thirty years. 24th June, 2018.