Living and working in Switzerland,wasn’t so easy in the beginning.The cultural differences between the swinging city of London in the late sixties, and a farming village in Switzerland,even though only twenty miles from Zürich were enormous.
It was my Mother-in-Law, probably taking pity on me, who told me I wasn’t the only English speaking woman there,and she gave me her address. That was how I first came to meet the. witty Scots girl,with a light Glaswegian accent, and was introduced to the “Hens”.
More than thirty years of water has passed under the village bridge since then.The village is now a small town,my friend hasn’t lost her Scots accent,and I still go every two weeks to a meeting of the “Hens”
Thirty years ago it was where lost souls met.Someplace where homesick, or otherwise, ex pat women of English mother tongue living in and around Zürich could rant on without their husbands hearing about their opinion of life in Switzerland,their Mothers-in-Law,their children and if need be even their husbands.
It was a little piece of our Homeland,served with a strong cup of tea and a slice of cake.
The club meetings saved many a visit to the psychologist,and many a marriage.
We were never more than fifteen,because we took turns in meeting at each others’ houses. More members would not only have posed seating problems at some places,it would also have been too damned noisy. Thus the name.
Three members left and went back to America, Canada,and Australia. One was terminally ill and went home to England. Two rowed with us about something long forgotten and left the pen.
There have been three divorces,and three re marriages.
The rest of us,apart from have been meeting every second Wednesday in the month for over thirty years. We have had three new members.
We have all grown old together.
Conversation has taken a different turn. We don’t rant anymore.
Husbands? We have learned to live with them, and even invite them to a get together twice a year. I can almost say the men are freinds among themselves now too.
Everyone seems to be suffering from some medical disorder which is always a good topic,the children are fully fledged,the in-laws few in number.
In our hearts we might like to go “Home”,but none of us would take the step now. Our countries have changed too.
Last week a hairdresser member brought along a lot wigs for us to try, just to see if we wanted to accept our roots so to speak, or at least see ourselves in another colour.
If laughter is medicine we certainly took an overdose on Wednesday.
I’ll miss them all in Thailand.