Thursday, 15 July 2010

Alphabe-Thursday. Z is for Zebayda

First of all a big thank you to everyone who came to the birthday party last week (Y is for.....) and if you missed it there's still some leftovers in the fridge so do pop in!) Thank you to for the lovely presents.
Now let me tell you about Zebayda
It's curious how things jump into your mind sometimes. I have a very visual memory and pictures suddenly appear behind my eyes and take me back more years than I care to admit. The letter Z (and where I come from we say Zed, not Zee) suddenly took me back nearly 50 years to a place that was then called The Hutton Residential School. I can see myself in a corridor painted that institutional green that many Brits will know and loathe. The corridor was actually a hallway in a large Victorian house and the house itself felt very friendly. The HRS was a place where children from the London Borough of Poplar who came from difficult backgrounds, broken families or who were orphans, were cared for. My mum and dad had befriended a boy who lived there - why is a whole other story which I might find a slot for next time round - and so we used to go there for tea sometimes. I would be sent off to be with the other chldren while my parents had tea with the matron and I was a bit apprehensive as an only child, suddenly finding myself, albeit temporarily, as part of a very big family.
Now Zebayda was the first black person that I ever met. Where I grew up, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, black faces were not commonly seen. Her father was part of a singing group, an English version of The Inkspots, but her mother was dead and so she stayed at the School while he was on tour. She was a year or two older than me and watched out for me when I was there. I never stayed the night but I guess my mum and dad thought it would be an experience to see how they lived in that place. It always felt full of love and I hope that it was.
HERE'S what other people made of the letter Z


  1. It would be interesting to learn what Zebayda thought about the school. Over here Residential School has a terrible connotation.

  2. I also grew up in a time and place where black people were pretty much nonexistent. I had to grow up and move to Florida in order to get to have some friends that weren't just plain old vanilla white!

  3. Such an interesting ‘Z’ post – brought back some memories of Residential Homes of that time (and Seniors' Residential Homes now).

    It’s been so interesting reading posts like yours over the past 26 weeks!

    Have a lovely weekend,

    PS Mine this time is HERE. Hope you can join me!

  4. It sounds like she was a great friend to spend time with.

  5. I found Alphabe-Thursday so interesting because of people like you from other countries. If it weren't for the internet and this meme, I would never have learned so much about the things that were different and the things that were the same about people out of the States. It's been nice getting to know you. Great Z post.

  6. What an interesting story. I agree with Viki. It has been so interesting getting to "know" people from other countries and cultures.

    Nice zed post!


  7. I wonder what happened to her? Isn't it strange how things lurk in our memories!!

  8. Very cool! I've always wondered about z being pronounced zed some places, too!

  9. Interesting "zed" story. The details in your writing made it come alive in my mind. Thanks for sharing.

  10. The home sounds so much more cozy than what comes to mind when I think of the residential places over here. Not happy and pretty hopeless.

  11. they had that institutional green over here too ... but residential places over here are not a happy place.

  12. I always enjoy your posts and learning a little about life in another country. I found it interesting that zee in this country is pronounced zed over there. I enjoyed hearing about your friend Zebayda.

  13. A great addition to Z.
    One that steadies us for a moment.
    I like that :)

    happy Z day :)it has been 26 weeks of fun!

    hope you can visit my z when you have time :)

  14. Interesting post. I always enjoy my visits here. ~ Sarah

  15. Leftovers?

    Surely not risotto? But if that's what you have left I'm popping over immediately to make risotto cakes! Yum!

    What a great stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter "Z".

    I always enjoy learning about your country and customs each week. It is fascinating to me.

    And I suspect to almost everyone else in this meme.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    It was wonderful!