Sunday, May 17, 2009

UK's oldest mum-to-be hides from media

One angry local [right] argues with a reporter

“It’s like the land that time forgot,” said one of the reporters gathered outside the house of Britain’s oldest mum to be, Elizabeth Adeney, who has single handedly managed to distract the tabloid media away from MP’s expenses. “You can’t get a signal at all,” the frustrated reporter continued as he tried to make a phone call.

He was one of dozens who had descended on a leafy lane in the Suffolk countryside in an attempt to get a statement from Ms Adeney following revelations in the Daily Mail and Mirror on Saturday.

The papers revealed she had become pregnant through In-Vitro Fertilisation treatment obtained in the Ukraine. But she insists age doesn’t matter and says she is delighted to be expecting.

Media unwelcome in Suffolk village

The presence of reporters, photographers and TV crews was not well received by many locals. “Get of my drive or I’ll call the police,” one angry neighbour shouted at reporters as he drove off in his van. Others were a little bemused and unaware of the news. “What’s going on?” one man asked the assembled press as he drove his family down the narrow country lane. But for those who knew her, there were some mixed views. “Well, I knew it had to be IVF,” one man said, “I didn’t think the press were interested in witches!”

Ms Adeney refused to see reporters all morning despite repeated knockings. For a person who received few visitors, according to neighbours, there was much activity however. Several maintenance men arrived at the house. A satellite installation team were the first to arrive, followed soon after by a pool maintenance engineer and a gardener. One of the workers was even sent out to retrieve the post and told reporters she did not wish to pose for pictures and had no plans to go out.

But after the satellite men and pool man left there followed a bizarre series of events. The gardener drove Elizabeth Adeney’s turquoise Renault from the house and up the road creating a panic amongst snappers. Shortly afterwards the gardener returned saying that she’d gone. But surely a heavily pregnant woman had not made her way across country to where the gardener had left the car. This, it seemed, could be the only explanation, but it created some speculation that the pregnancy might even be fake!

Despite best attempts at finding her, Ms Adeney managed to evade the press throughout the day and did not return to her house before nightfall.

Anger towards press builds

Patience amongst the locals was wearing thin concerning the large gathering of media. Late into the afternoon a returning local jumped from his people carrier and launched into a verbal tirade of abuse.

“How long’s this going to go on for?” he shouted. “Don’t know mate,” one photographer replied.

“What if a fire engine wanted to get through with all these vehicles here, it couldn’t,” the angry man continued. “I’m fed up with this, why don’t you all fuck off? Do you wanna scrap? I’m good at that,” he proclaimed. “Why don’t you all grow up? She’s only having a fucking baby.”

Soon after, another aggrieved resident pulled up in his car and none too politely told the press to go away before telling them the police had been called.

One lone Police Community Support Officer arrived but was particularly amicable and said that since no-one was causing an obstruction there was little she could do. “There are no parking restrictions,” she said, “I think people are just upset because little happens around here so you’re the focus of attention.”

It wasn’t too long before one of the angry locals drove back. “Haven’t you gone yet?” he asked before arguing with two journalists. As he did so the situation became a little dangerous as on letting off the brake his vehicle rolled back and nearly ran over a dog being walked by a local woman.

Surreal behaviour

The afternoon became surreal as another dog walker passed by and pulled a face while pushing out her jumper with her fist. “Da da,” she exclaimed as she pulled her hand from beneath her jumper in a gesture of holding a pillow or baby. “Why’s this a story?” she said later, “She didn’t conceive, she had an egg put inside her and it’s going to be a corrugated [sic] birth.”

Meanwhile ‘Mr Angry’ returned; this time armed with a camera, perhaps in an attempt to intimidate the few remaining reporters and photographers. After sharp words, and an inference that vehicles could be damaged by “persons unknown”, he retreated.

As the sun began to set over Suffolk there was one last visitation from the locals. “You won’t get her coming in here, the witch usually flies in on her broomstick,” he joked. “She's a bit odd, that one” he said.

From the bizarre behaviour displayed by locals, she is not the only resident who was strange, if not a little over protective about “their road”.

[BBC / Pregnancy over age 50-Wikipedia].

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