Step-ins were a type of girdle popular while growing up in Sydney during the 1950s and 1960s. They were worn to hold in the flab of a female body, and my controlling mother forced me to wear them. I finally escaped her control and left for the UK aged 20. My memoir is from letters documenting my overseas journey of discovery between 1968 and 1970. I wrote frequently, telling her I was no longer wearing tight step-ins, and instead, let the flab all hang out. In January 2012, aged 64, I began to re-read and transcribed over 300 letters, after being told by an older cousin I had been adopted at birth. At no time did I have any idea I was adopted.
I moved from the Blue Mountains NSW to Geraldton WA in November 2019, to be closer to grandchildren and a warmer climate. How fortunate I was to settle into a house and community, just prior to the Covid 19 Pandemic hitting Australia. I now had the time to edit, finish and self publish my memoir 'I don't wear step-ins anymore' using some of the letters my mother and I wrote to one another while I lived overseas between 1968 and 1970.
Like everyone else in the world, my life and plans were placed on hold during Covid. I was planning a big trip across the Nullabor to see family still living in NSW. I turn 74 in November, and feel my life is just beginning. I am on Facebook as Diana Florence Wilde, Twitter as DianaWildediana and Instagram. I am also beginning a blog, which was going to be about my Campervan trips around Australia with my 15 year old Jack Russell X called Jimmy.
I'm planning another memoir 'The Chosen Child' telling the process of finding my birth mother after being told I was adopted at birth.
'I Don't Wear Step-ins Anymore'
Well I thoroughly enjoyed your book. It bought back so many memories - lots of things I had completely forgotten about, as in catching up with you in Switzerland whilst David and I were on our camping trip around Europe. I too remember all the hassles with men touching you up in Turkey - it was a nightmare. I did not realise that you have travelled though Iran and Afghanistan. How amazing to look back on those countries now.
I must say Di that I always thought that you and your mother did not have a very close relationship, but reading her letters to you made me reassess those thoughts, Her letters to you were very warm and caring as were yours to her, and I think it is wonderful that you can look back on them and see so much love in those words.
Much love, Valda
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'I Don't Wear Step-ins Anymore'
Honestly, Diana - I am really enjoying it!
What a great idea you had to put all these letters together into this book. Your detailed letters sent to your family - are so well written. You obviously were meant to be a writer. For me, I am loving the blast from the past. I lived in London in a share flat myself just a couple of years before you - ( I was married in 1967!) so the descriptions of places and fashions and people are just fabulous for me. And it is a bit of a surprise to witness through your letters - and your Mum's - what an affectionate family you obviously were. I love her little Motherly bits of advice - her attempts to keep you on the straight and narrow, her details about life over here - and most of all, her obvious love and care for you. And the little typically fatherly snippets from your Dad too! Already, though not having read that much, I feel I know you so much better - and know a lot about your family dynamics.
Honestly, I don't know if you tried to market it at all - but it seems to me that many would enjoy reading this memoir for its wonderful descriptions of London in the 60s and the comparisons with a more mundane way of life in Sydney. I think you've put it together really well, and I like that you've interspersed some of your present-day comments into it at times. Anyway, I look forward to reading more and will write again when I've finished it - but - WELL DONE!!
Love Val x