Chapter 10.

28. October 1958. – From my diary
I got another letter from Albert. He explained that he enjoys corresponding with me but because of his earlier vow last year, he would like to take it slower. He thinks that it would be a better idea if we only wrote a letter to each-other once a month and that will help us to take it slower. Well, yes, I agree it is a good idea to take it slowly but I have to admit I will miss his letters terribly! He has become like a companion already. We are able to talk about anything. Once month will seem like forever. Well, in that case I won’t hurry with the reply. I will take my time reading his letters over and over again. And I have time to write the reply. Well, my reply might end up a very-long letter. 🙂

15. November 1958. – From my diary
I posted my letter. Oh it seems like an eternity. I can’t wait to get his reply.

28. November 1958. – From my diary.
I got a reply. It is very strange. He said in his letter that it is better if we are only friends. Let’s hope that we will be more than friends in the future but for now we are only friends. I cried tonight.
It made me very worried and concerned. I will write to him straight away to clear the air. In my letter I will ask him if his plans changed regarding me.

29. November 1958. – From my diary
I posted a short letter asking Albert what are his plans

Chepter 9. – From my diary

October 17. 1958.
I got a reply letter from Albert. A long letter again indeed. It was a delight to read it. In his letter he told me more about his plans. He said that he had vowed solemnly to apply to work with a charity for one year which would require complete devotion for one year and he wouldn’t be able to get into a relationship if he got accepted. But he might not hear back anything. We will soon find out, most probably within 6-8 weeks from now. He thins it is best to wait a bit and take it slowly.
He also told me that he realized how much he needed a lifelong companion. He had a flatmate not long ago and that was the time when he started to realize that. They got on really really well, they did everything together, they cooked together, worked together etc. When his flatmate left he started to feel lonely so he prayed to God for a wife. He says he smiles in his heart when he thinks of the time that he can spend with his future wife. Cooking and dancing together… He says he certainly thinks that I am special.
– I think that he is special, too!!! –
He asked me how I felt about working for a charity. Well, that’s something that I always wanted to do… And how do I feel about if he gets called this time.
Well I think we could still carry on corresponding with each other occasionally and we could still get to know each other better to see if we want to take it further in the future.
I have to admit secretly I hope that he will not get accepted this year. And when he said we could cook and dance together. Wow, my feelings are growing fast.
Before I went to Malta I agreed with one friend of mine that when I come back she will introduce me to a young man in South London. She was hoping that we might like each other. She thinks that this man and I would suit each other. Well, I cancelled the arrangement. It would have been next week. But my heart is engaged now!
I have already written and posted my reply letter to Albert.

Chapter 8. – My diary

October 3. 1958.

After waiting for almost 2 weeks I got a reply letter from Albert. It felt like forever. I thought it would never come. When I opened the letter, oh my goodness it was a long letter. 4 full pages. That was much more than I expected from a man. He seems very friendly and opened with me from his letter. I like that. I am very delighted.
I found it very interesting that he mentioned about a solemn vow that he had made a year earlier about joining a charity for a year. He said that he was definitely interested in getting to know me closer but because of his solemn vow he couldn’t just commit himself yet.
It is a little bit puzzling to me what these two things has to do with each other but anyhow he is already talking about committing himself. Wow, that’s something though. It seems like to me that he is taking this very seriously and he is not one of those who would play with a woman’s feelings.
But he also said that he needed to wait a few more weeks to see if he got called or in other words if he needed to fulfil his vow and because of this he would like to take things slowly. He also said that if he got called, it would mean that he couldn’t pursue getting to know me such a way for now. So he would like to start things slowly and start of as friends only. If he doesn’t need to go away for this project then he would definitely like to court me.
Well, as for me, it makes sense I suppose and I don’t mind taking things slowly. Many people jumped into marriage quickly and regretted it later. Better to get to know each other well. I guess we could carry on getting to know each other in letters during that year and then pursue a courtship or engagement afterwards. I don’t mind waiting a bit. I have written my reply letter today and posted it. I let him know that this is all right with me.

Chapter 7. – My first letter to Albert

I posted my letter to Albert. It reads:

Dear Albert,

I hope you are all right. I would like to let you know that I arrived back to London safely. How was your day today?
First of all I would like to thank you for the nice evening and the ride around Malta. I truly enjoyed it. It was nice of you to take us around.
Tomorrow I am back to work but my heart is still in Malta. I really fell in love with this little country. I like the sea and the fact that it is sunny most of the time.
I thought you might be wondering why people call me Berry. I don’t know if I told you but Berry is my nickname. Everybody calls me Berry. I thought I tell you why. Once I read an illustration in a magazine and I really liked it. It was about raspberries. It said that many people don’t like raspberries because of their seeds. But those people who like raspberries don’t even notice the seeds. In a similar way when we really like someone, for example our friends, we don’t even notice their faults. I really liked this illustration so that’s how I first started to call myself raspberry and later shortened it just to Berry. One day I might tell you my real name personally.
So tell me about Malta.
Why did you move there? Do you like it there?

I hope to hear from you soon.

Berry

Chapter 6. – My diary

September 15. 1958.
Berry:
I haven’t been able to sleep all night. I just kept thinking about our day together. Oh it was so fantastic! Just like a dream. My plane departed very early in the morning. I was looking out of the window leaving the tiny island of Malta behind with tears of joy and tears of sadness in my eyes. Tears of joy because I met a wonderful man and tears of sadness because I had to depart.

Arriving back to London in the morning, the first thing that I did was to write a letter to Albert. I took it to the post office straight away

I was telling everyone how much I enjoyed my holiday. I sent a letter to my best friend in Hungary that I still keep in touch with. I filled her in with all my news, and all the details about meeting Albert.

September 16. 1958.
Berry:
I started work again. Everyone was asking about my holiday – the neighbours, friends, when I was shopping… everyone who knew me asked questions about it. Many people even asked if I had met someone. I tried to avoid giving an answer. I smiled and laughed, just gave a silly answer and changed the subject. I prefer not to talk about it until it is sure. I only mentioned it to my best friend so far. But it seemed harder and harder to avoid saying anything, my heart was overflowing with feelings. It seemed as if everyone was asking. I hope that my letter arrives soon to Albert. I posted it express delivery first class. I can’t wait to hear from him.

To be continued next week…

Chapter 5. – My diary

September 14. 1958.
Berry:
Albert arrived a little later to the hotel as agreed. He was terribly sorry about that, and looked a little nervous. Perhaps he was thinking about our relationship; wondering if this was going to work out between us? Well I suppose it is just normal to feel a bit nervous – I guess?

(But in reality it was because Albert kept his solemn vow in mind; but on the otherhand it seemed that he found the lady that he had been dreaming of. And he was a little confused how could he pursue both things at the same time.)

I was also very nervous and a bit quiter that day because of it all. It was also the very last day when I could see Albert before I leave Malta, it felt like real ‘now or never!’ moment! The conversation started with a little tension but before long I forgot all about my worries and was really enjoying the evening and a delicious meal. The evening flied. After dinner Albert invited Yolanda, Franklin and myself for a ride to a romantic little city, Mdina. Yolanda and Franklin although very tired came along so that Albert and myself could get better acquainted.

We walked around the city of Mdina, through the narrow streets in the dark. Very romantic indeed. Yolanda thought of a very cute idea, as it didn’t quite click to Franklin that it would have been better to let Albert and myself talk together, alone. He kept talking to Albert so it was not so easy to have a private conversation. So Yolanda said to Franklin: “Franklin come and have a look at this flower…” Finally Albert and I could talk private. Yolanda and Franklin walked a few metres behind us. After we walked out of Mdina and carried on walking around the tiny garden just outside of Mdina, where there was a tiny open square in the middle – where Albert invited me for a little dance. After such a wonderful evening, the time quickly came to make our way back to the hotel.

I also found out Albert is very fond of singing, although he does not have such a good voice himself. Asking me if I could sing I nervously said yes. So he promptly asked me to sing on the way back! And so I did, because I love to sing! Shortly the time arrived to say good bye. It was midnight when we finally got back to the hotel
First he said good bye to Yolanda and Franklin. Then the sad moment arrived; to say good bye to each other. Oh it was very hard. Giving me his details, he made me promise that I will write as soon as I arrive back in London.
I also had to say good bye to Yolanda and Franklin as my plane was leaving very early the next day.

To be continued next week…

Chapter 4. – From our diaries

September 11. 1958.
Berry:
I saw Albert at the Gala evening again, OK, I know I am starting this diary entry about him, but: ‘wow’ … we have so much in common. Did I just say wow… about a man? YES! Boy o boy did we chat too! It impressed me that Albert used to always help his mum in the kitchen and learned to cook. Amazing! Amazing? That is very unusual thing for a man nowadays indeed. He loves dancing and music. And such a gentleman, polite and kind. Very respectful with everyone, old and young. I think, ‘a man of very deep feelings’ yes, that is how I will remember him. A man who can be touched so deeply and can become emotional while listening to music. That is the kind of man that I would … dare I say it, like? No, that is the man I like. Albert… is a man I like, ALBERT IS THE MAN I LIKE! Most men seem to be a little bit cold and logical but Albert is so different. Now I have admitted it to myself, I just hope that he likes me too. Anyway I need to make it obvious that I am interested on my part. So I will make sure that I show that in a balanced way of course.

September 12. 1958.
Sigh. The last Gala evening! Albert! It happened that I was walking with Yolanda and Franklin Eliot and we passed by Albert. He was with one of his friends called Charlie and he invited us to join them at their table. I mean, what else could I ask for? I was sitting with the man that I like in a beautiful hotel by the window looking at the waves of the sea in a Mediterranian country, “shaperoned” by a lovely elderly English couple, Yolanda and Franklin Elliot. Bliss. We were having a delightful conversation again (as always). And then Albert found out that I was leaving early on Wednesday morning he decided to invite us for a meal on Tuesday evening. Yes, that’s right. We are going out for a meal! We made plans and tried to figure out the best way to do it. Because our meal is already paid for in the hotel package. Albert decided that he would join us for dinner in the hotel’s restaurant on Tuesday evening. After we finished dinner Albert invited me for a drink by the posh bar. Oh I cannot help but it was a delightful feeling when I noticed that Rebecca and Margaret were watching us with jealousy.

September 13. 1958.
Berry:
I went on tour around Malta with Yolanda and Franklin Elliot. We visited Mdina, Blue Grotto, and beautiful, but smelly fish market in Marsaxlokk. A fisherman even obliged to take us in his Luzzu (Maltese fishing boat) for a tour. I was rather excited all day. Of course, I was wondering if this was gonna work out or not between Albert and me. I was so glad I had chosen Malta for my holiday destination.

Albert:
oh, she looks like just as I always imagined my future wife would, she is exactly the type of person as I imagined. But how could this be? I have a solemn vow to fulfil. Oh, God I don’t want to hurt her…

To be continued…

Chapter 3. – From our diaries

Albert was a very handsome man. He was tall, had thick dark brown hair cut short and neatly combed with every hair seeming to have its very own place, with and brown hazel eyes. Quite understandably another two young women were already trying to get his attention at the first of the Gala evenings. He conversed with them in a manner that etiquette would dictate, but no more, but he was not interested in anything further, for in fact he found the entire situation rather awkward and uncomfortably so.

September 10. 1958.
Albert:
I had started the day intending it to be solemn, and that it was, for I was keeping my solemn vow in mind; Not to make an effort to look for my future wife for now.

Berry:
I made some friends today, I realized the truth that strangers are friends you just have not met yet. My two new friends are Margaret and Rebecca. While I was conversing with them, a nice gentleman walked by, Albert, some friend of Margaret and Rebecca. Making his acquaintance I shared with him that I had been in England for a few years. He did ask where I was from, is my accent that bad?

Albert:
Beautiful Gala evening, I always like to see people in Formal ware, brings and air of civility to any event. Met up with a few friends. Also this young lady- For the life of me I can`t remember her name, reminded me of an old friends daughter – a little 10-year-old, similar looks in every way, really I have to admit she looks like a big version of Shirley. After having a delightful conversation with her about her country, Hungary, her life now in London and so on. As soon as we finished the conversation and walked away I thought to myself: Hang on a minute – Doesn’t she look exactly like what I prayed for – straight blond her, blue eyes, a ‘white rose’ just as I have dreamt it, also slim and almost as tall as I am. She has lived outside of her country for two years. That is important for me, as I wanted someone who will be able to leave her family behind as I would like to travel abroad, so much work to be done on behalf of charity. But come on, it cannot be, as I have vowed solemnly for this year.
I was trying not to entertain the thought that I liked so much.

Berry:
Just as the Gala evening finished I was talking to Yolanda. Albert came and joined in the conversation. He is quite handsome. I introduced him to Yolanda and we had a very delightful conversation. Yolanda told us about their life. I enjoyed her stories of being in India, Pakistan and other exotic places.

To be continued next week…

Chapeter 2. – My diary

September 8. 1958.
Berry:
What a day, full of excitement! I can barely write quick enough! Of course, the big day has arrived. My first holiday … for how many years now? Traveling on my own was such an experience. It took 3.5 hours to fly over, although it felt barely like half that! Malta! MALTA MALTA MALTA! What a hot and humid little country you are! Even in September. If my family could see this, the hotel is a darling! So beautiful! nestled in a bay along the coast of Qawra, very near to Sant Paul’s bay, where, I am told, the famous shipwreck of St. Paul had occurred. The country side did look very ragged and wild, I imagine he saw the same as I did, of course, without the Hotel. The sea! I looked at it wide eyed, like a small child in a sweet shop, I could hardly believe I was right here in front of the sea, but unlike that small child, the sweets were mine! Getting ready to go in seemed to take years, I wanted to be in! My first time, how would it feel? I can barely remember the nerves as it was fun to jump in. This was great. But my word, doesn’t swimming make you hungry? Back at the hotel I was nervous to go down for dinner on my own, but I needn’t have been, everyone was so friendly. During dinner I met with this very nice elderly couple from England, Yolanda and Franklin Elliot. They are also holidaying over here. I really enjoyed conversing with them, I hope I meet them again.

September 9. 1958.
Berry:
While having dinner with Jolanda and Franklin I got to know that during the following three days the hotel had arranged for several Gala evenings, to which I was invited to join; oh I can’t wait! Not having had the opportunity to dance for ages, and now to go for a Gala evening, no not just one, THREE! I could never have dreamed of this just a few years earlier. Deep in my heart I could not help but think: Will I meet my future husband? Oh how I desire the answer to be YES!

To be continued next week

Chapter 1 – Introcuction to set the scene…

Chapter 1 – Introcuction to set the scene…

Back in 1956 as a result of the Hungarian Revolution many Hungarian people emigrated abroad; Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia and the UK. Among them a gentle quiet young lady, affectionately known as ‘Berry’ by all she met. Being in her mid 20s, she decided to leave her family behind to start a new life in the UK, even changing her surname to Smith so that people will accept her in society. She quickly ended up in working in London as a governess. Although speaking very good English, still she struggled with the language barrier at first. However before long she almost spoke native English.
It is 2 years later, the end of August in 1958, the count and countess granted her one week leave and she could go for a holiday. But this was no ordinary holiday, it was long in the planning, after careful consideration of all destinations; Cyprus, Spain, New York, California, Australia, and Malta. She chose Malta. A decision that would seal her fate more than she realized.
Like every young lady, she dreamed of a happy marriage, meeting Mr Right. But like all mortals, she was unaware of where her desires and choices would lead, or indeed, her heart would take her.
Malta 1956:
A young man of English & Italian descent by the name of Albert Richardson has just moved to Malta, joining his mother and stepfather who wanted to settle down in Malta. A man of deep feelings, with a caring and kind nature. Just a year earlier he had made a solemn vow; that he will travel in support work for a noble charity, requiring at least one year of his time and energy. However an air of indecisiveness abounded – to get married or to pursue the goal of working for a charity. Anyhow as he was not sure he decided to turn to God and explain his feelings to him very specifically. He told God in a prayer that it seemed that the desire to get married was getting stronger and stronger. Very specifically he also described to God what he would like his future wife to be like. This included her hair and eye color, the length of her hair, her height and so forth but most importantly her personality. But as the date arrived to apply to the charity he remembered his solemn vow a year earlier and he handed in his application and left the matter with God.
Back to 1958, where we pick up the diaries of Berry and Albert as their paths will, unknowingly to them, cross and become entwined in a rich, real life love story that will be remembered throughout the generations. Enjoy this rewrite of the diaries as these two meet for the first time, become lovers, and the unexpected turns of life affect everything around them.

To be started next week….