Cobbled Streets, Radical Fashions, Outraged Locals…And the Highlight of the Week: NAAFI in Dortmund…
16 year old Renza has been carted off to live overseas with her family for three years and she’s left the love of her life, Scott, from Narnia’s Children, behind…
Only One Woman: Renza’s Diary August 29th 1968…
Going down the steep cobbled streets is horrid, Mum makes me walk behind her as she’s embarrassed at the way the old women lean out of the windows shouting and laughing at my fashions. I’m only wearing what everyone in England wears; minis, midis, maxi dresses and hipster trousers. Nothing radical.
The locals are openly hostile to the families, and I told Scott that’s because I’m creating a spectacle of myself with my fashions, according to Mum. He’d laugh at that I’m sure. It had to be my fault.
It’s a good job we can go into Dortmund to shop at the NAAFI a couple of times a week, because I remember little German from the last time we lived here, and Mum’s never been good at languages, so shopping locally is not on.
I can imagine Scott laughing when he reads about the German drivers who take us to NAAAFI. They keep asking us to buy them coffee, cigarettes, and booze. Apparently it is still rationed in Germany.
They drive like lunatics, just like those in Naples he told me about, hands waving all the time and turning round in the driver’s seat to chat, not that we understand half of what they say.
The Mess is open all day every day and every evening too. There’s always something on entertainment-wise and it seems a lot of men spend most of their time there when not working.
Narnia’s Children would love the bar, I told Scott, all the drinks are really cheap. The building is where Goering used to give bit Nazi speeches during the war. It’s creepy.
If you want to know more about Only One Woman and the story of Renza, Scott, and Stella, as well as Narnia’s Children, you can listen to my interview on The Authors Show where I chat about the inspiration behind our novel, why Christina Jones and I co-wrote it, and about our life-long friendship.
I read an extract from Renza’s diary in July 1968 and you will get a flavour of what it was like to be a teenager in the late 1960s. Music, fashion, food, drink, the venues and gigs, the bands and social upheaval caused by The Cold War, student uprisings and the Moon Landings; it is all Only One Woman. An epic love triangle and so much more.
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My representation: Linda Langton
Only One Woman is always available on The Authors Show 24/7 52/12 – go to the link, channel 6, archives, and scroll for the book.