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…

Leaving on a train, don’t know when Renza will be back again. The railway station where Renza set off from.

Only One Woman: Renza’s Diary August 29th 1968…

Village scene

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.

Moehne Dam

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.

Driving out of the village into civilisation.

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.

Renza’s new home for the next few years

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.

Find me and follow me:

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.

Paperback and eBook


    • Thanks, Jim, I am amazed I can still remember that far back, but I do. Of course, keeping diaries helps a great deal and tour schedules, fan letters, photos, posters, and memorabilia in general. I just cribbed from them.


  1. What a wonderful remembrance, Jane! I love “Driving out of the village into civilisation.”. Lol This experience one can have with so many places in Germany. Lol I have to confess, i never have visited Dortmund. Always i only have seen it from far. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Dormund – lived there when younger. In 1957 and then in 1968 Wetter Ruhr a lovely old town. You must go and look. I write about it all (1968) in Only One Woman (Christina Jones and Jane Risdon) and it was fun recalling it all. I hope you visit the area one day. xx


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