Summer 1949. Saint Tropez. It's early and there's hardly , anyone on the beach yet. On the sand, a man stares at the sea absent-mindedly. By chance his gaze rests on a young woman who is coming out of the water at that moment. She's wearing a fashionable bathing suit. A tight-fitting bathing suit made of some new fabric. She looks really good in it. She feels happy, refreshed. She runs to take her place under the beach umbrella. And, suddenly, the upper part of her modern costume slides downwards revealing everything it was meant to conceal! Ashamed and red-faced, the young girl hastens to find a redeeming towel, trying all the while not to catch anyone's eye.
In the distance the man smiles to himself and thinks, '1 must marry that girl.' A few months later he fulfils that vow.
This is, in short, how my parents met. My father, who has a great sense of humour, often tenderly teases my mother by saying, "I had to make a decent woman of her."
Maybe because they were no longer children (they were both over 30), my parents decided quickly to get married. They were both very wasn't the only reason behind it. After the war, most people were anxious to have the peace and quiet of a happy family life. My parents, like most couples then, believed that through love they would be able to build a better world and they set out to try to do just that.
My father, John Frankenberg. is a gynaecologist. He was born in England where he studied his profession. This may sound like daughter's pride, but my father is one of the top specialists in England. .A very competent man who is devoted to his work.
My mother is Dutch. When she was married to her first husband she lived in a tea plantation in Java, Indonesia. Things didn't work out well between them and by the time war broke out with Japan, they had separated.
My mother then found herself in a very tough situation, like many other foreigners whose nationalities were not taken into account. She was sent to a concentration camp. She was 25 years old and she never forgot that experience.
Finally, after years of rough treatment, hunger and all sorts of trials, she managed to escape. She made her way to England and found work there with the Red Cross and the Dutch Embassy.
For both of them, those were the ' first holidays in a long time. My father had just hurt his back in an accident and still walked on crutches and my mother, as you've heard, was enjoying the water. And they met. Their moment had come.