Our financial situation was once again under scrutiny as we focused on food, rent, and the inevitable baby supplies. It was not long after Melanie was born that relationship issues developed.
A past traumatic event (that is all I can say) came to the surface, which put additional stress on us. Counseling was sought but, after one visit, the suggestions offered were clearly being rejected, and so balancing our finances was further complicated by balancing our relationship.
Our house had only 2-bedrooms and we would therefore have to eventually look for a larger one. Given that our home was just around the corner from my mother-in-law presented some additional problems however, when we applied for a 3-bedroom house, and given our circumstances, we were given priority with the expectation of a house within a year. It materialized in 1972.
While living in our “first” house, I had a phone call while at work saying that I should go straight home as there had been an accident! I rode home and raced in through the kitchen door … and proceeded to skate across the floor and into the opposite wall! The floor was covered in cooking fat.
As I later understood the situation: Apparently, in preparation for making fries, fat was in the process of being melted when a sister-in-law dropped by for a visit. Of course they both went upstairs to make a fuss over Melanie, and the chip pan (deep fryer) was forgotten until one of them smelled something burning. The realization made them both dash downstairs and were confronted with a chip pan over which was a blue haze. The sister-in-law had just recently been trained in just that scenario but, sadly, went totally blank. My partner grabbed the pan with the intention of getting it outside but, as she moved it, molten fat splashed out; air got in, and the whole pan burst into flames.
She continued, with the pan at arm’s length, to get it outside and throw it in the garden. Unfortunately, she pulled the pan towards her to prepare for throwing it away from her, and the result was numerous burns down her front.
The sister-in-law stayed to look after the children while I took my partner to her doctor, who did all the necessary dressing and moaned at her for not handling it better! We never owned another chip pan!