Barbara was dismissed from Allenbrooks hospital that Friday after her suicide attempt. She invited me to come over on Saturday afternoon to formally meet her family. I was relieved that this was going to happen. Finally we could start a normal relation without all this secret meetings.

When I got there that Saturday afternoon Barbara and I were very nervous. Barbara took the initiative and made sure I didn't say or do the wrong things. Her mother and uncle invited me into the living room where we had some tea. I felt very uncomfortable. Barbara mother made no effort to make me feel welcome. I can't remember what we talked about, just a polite formal conversation. Barbara did the translations . After that Barbara showed me around the house and we played with the dogs and cats in the yard.

Then I was told that I had to go because it was time that the fish and chip shop was going to be opened. I was very surprised that Barbara had to help, just one day after she left the hospital. When I asked her about it she said that it was oke. Saturday was the busiest day of the week, she had no choice, her uncle and their English employee couldn't manage that on their own.

As I wanted to make a good impression I offered to help out. They accepted. Then I realized how efficient they were organized. Barbara worked at the counter and her uncle fried the fish and chips, Barbara's mother did the Chinese take away at the back of the shop. I didn't have any experience in this type of work and there was no time to introduce me in into it. At first they put me at work frying the chips. But I was to slow and to clumsy. Therefore they send me to the back where I could answer the phone for the take away orders. This didn't work either. I could take the orders, but I couldn't communicate them with Barbara's mother. After an hour Barbara send me home saying "at least you tried".

When I saw Barbara again, she told me that her family was very negative about me. It would be better if I didn't meet them again. She wanted to avoid discussions about me (which normally ended in violent quarrels ) for this reason she also didn't want to talk about me or have to tell them when she was seeing me. I was very disappointed, we had to go back to the secret meetings again.









(translated by elbc2006)





# RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-06 23:35
i should stop comming to this site...i always end up feeling miserable :sad:

but i can't...i wanna know what happens next...
# RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 01:04
oh, poor Rob. I felt also sad after reading this new story. Barbara is such a nice girl, but her relatives seemed to be, well, you know. Their behavior was kind of unacceptable even for Chinese. Daughter brought lovers back home to see parents, at least, parents should show their welcome and respect.
# RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 00:41
These must be really small rooms... I was quite shocked at how small the house was when I looked around it (there were two photos of the house's back)... Life's tough and unfair to Barbara... She's courageous though... That's my overall feeling from this trip :sad:
# RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 00:58
Thank you Barfan, appreciate your photoes.
# RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 13:51
hi barfan

did you travel all the way to cambridge to view barbara place or you did live there, and how do you know the inside of the shop layour, just wondering ?
# RE: RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-08 16:41
May8095: I traveled to UK for business but my stops in London and Cambridge are for visiting Barbara's old dwellings (not just the fish&chip shop, thanks to Rob's information, as you'll see). The inside layout of the shop is not from me. It's probably another treasure Rob dug out from his memory.
# RE: RE: RE: RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-08 20:54
That's right, the stories coming soon will explain why I remember it so well! :-)
# Formally introduced (Questions)Guest 2010-07-07 02:05
Rob/Others - Please answer
1) Is Barabara's Uncle single or married?
2) Barbara may have help supported her mum/uncle when she became famous.
However, who support them after Barbara died?
3) Does Barbara have relatives/cousins in England besides her mum & uncle?

Rob, U are a great guy. U came from a "well-to-do" family, yet u are willing to help in a kitchen. U did amazingly well. Barbara was lucky to have u those difficult years. So sad that her mum did not realize this.

# RE: Formally introduced (Questions)Guest 2010-07-07 08:29
her family doesnt live at 6 station road, histon. are they running the fish and chips business still?
# just being noiseyGuest 2010-07-07 13:45
i live in cambridge, just today i needed some rice and went to the local chinese shop, one thing lead to other the shop keeper and i talk about barbara mum, i say after reading rob site, some say her mum move to germany, then the shop keeper say 'no' she still live in cambride and she live in milton and she come in now and again, she is about 80+ years old and in ill health, i love rob story, but i hope barbara mum dont read all this, because she is in ill health she might get upset !
# RE: just being noiseyGuest 2010-07-08 16:47
Sad to hear this. Hope we can do something for the poor mom. :sad:
# RE: Formally introduced Guest 2010-07-07 16:07
until now 30 years on in 2010, chinese family those has takeaway business still act the same, i know, i come from one , it about making money, money and more money, it just dont bother giving enought time for their children ! My sister was going out with a white guy and of course my mum dont like it, mum try to arrange a greasy hair takeaway owner to go out with my sister, and of course she wont have it and run away and stay at her white boyfriend house, and of course being chinese, she come home and mum started to accepte him, @we all tell mum to leave her alone@, and of course they got marry, both had good job, two kids, and still he also help out in the takaway buisness at weekend. happyly every after :P
# if it makes you feel better.Guest 2010-09-13 21:05
If it makes you feel better, my parents also treated all my boyfriends with simiar cruelty, up until I married one in 2000. I had complained about my parents hostile behaviors toward my boyfriends for years, but after reading your story I can see that's something subconciously cultural.

Just think of what your stories would have sounded if there no villains and conflicts played by her parents...
# RE: Formally introduced (1977)Jade 2011-08-27 07:52
wow her mum and uncle should have found some help instead of putting her back to work! If she had gotten some counselling then maybe she would still be alive today!

Its sad reading all these stories but at the same time nice to see how see was back in the day. Now her suicide kinda makes sense because you see how sensitive/emotional she was and how she didn't handle pressure or stress very well. It must have been 10 times worse when she was in HK being in the public eye and everyone talking about her.
# RE: 11. Formally introduced 正式介绍 (1977)Simon 2019-06-01 14:22
Hi Rob,
Your experience working in the chippy reminds me of the time when my sister's friend's older sister tries to date my older brother. She was a classic blonde hair blue eye 19yrs old beauty who reminds me of Agnetha from ABBA. She ask if she can help out at our shop to get to know my brother, nobody objected not even our parents because we think it will not last but the work will just scare her away. She was put in the counter duty servng customers. Anyway she manages to pull many customers, all males. A couple of them keep comming back until we threw them out late into the night at closing time. She lasted a day, never came back again. She was scared off by the work. I guess Barbara's mother tried to scare you off with the chippy work.
# RE: 11. Formally introduced 正式介绍 (1977)Rob 2019-06-12 11:50
I don’t think it was a deliberate action of her mother to scare me off. But after only an hours work I decided that I didn’t want to do this kind of work. I understood then why Barbara never wanted to take over the family business. Going to Hong Kong was a much more attractive option for her.

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