Jaja..from Prague to London in 1968

Jaja..from Prague to London in 1968

My name is Jarmila Carter, Jaja (pronounced Yaya) for short. I came to this country as a 22 year old in 1968, from my home town of Prague, former Czechoslovakia, after the Russian occupation in the summer of that same year. I have never had a single regret about choosing England as my adopted country.

I chose the UK because I had been learning English and my first job was working as an au-pair in Edgware, Middx. I was picked up at Heathrow Airport, just before Christmas in 1968. One of the first things I observed was that there was grass everywhere, as green as the one I remembered at home from the summer months. My country being colder loses grass in the winter months and this was such a pleasant surprise.

After a very happy year as an au pair, I decided to stay in London and began working, first as a waitress and then in 1971 I got my first clerical job at Abbey National in Baker Street.  A year later I met Peter, and we were married. Our wedding was completely homemade! I made my own wedding dress out of a pattern and material I bought at John Lewis in Oxford St. Our reception was at Peter's widowed mother's house.  It cost us a grand total of £50. It was a perfect July day but a honeymoon was out of question.  We had two children and we have been married for over 40 years.

I am 67 now and still working but this time for an optician. It will surely be my last job before a full retirement. But I haven't named the day - yet! I suppose it is the love of working with people that makes me reluctant to call it a day.


  • Clare This is a lovely page x

  • Tammy  Ohhhh I love this. I'm so choked up!

  • Larissa  such a lovely story ja ja, only worked with you on a few occasions but when i have u have always been a pleasure to work with, when mark and i got married in gretna green in 2005 it didnt cost very much either but was still the best day ever! you are obviously quite gifted to of been able to make you own cake let alone your own dress. just goes to show you its what people make of these special times in our lives that count.

  • Larissa  ja ja looking beautiful on her wedding day x
    Tanisha   A lovely lady whos good friend with Aunty Deepa and Uncle Roger! xx