I then sent to the three newspapers photocopies of all of Heidi's letters to
me, together with a nine page report detailing my side of the story and the
absolute truth of the whole matter. I had kept a couple of Sainsbury's carrier
bags full of all the letters, postcards, Christmas cards etc. that I had received
in probably the last two decades and I got them out of my cupboard and rummaged
through them to see if I had managed to retain any of Heidi's letters from the
1980s. Most fortunately, I had and the few that I kept are printed below: -
Letter dated 24th August, 1982
Thank you very much for your letters and the telephone calls. Nice to hear that you are okay. I'm alright as always, (he! he!) and I hope it is the same with you. You've had your exams already haven't you? Did you pass your exams, I mean have you heard anything? Hope you passed your exams, in fact I'm quite sure you did, you used to work hard didn't you? The school starts again tomorrow, it's Sunday today and I'm sitting in my room listening to music. Nice eh? I'm looking forward to go to school again!! So do my parents! They're glad I'm back again, safe. So am I in a way though. I miss England, funny that is, because I felt quite miserable in the end. Anyway I'm sure I will 'be back' in England quicker than I thought! Have you met a girl lately? My 'old' boyfriend visited me Saturday. He is nice, good-looking, but oh I don't know I suppose you have met a girl you fancy, ha? I'm right? I think so! He! He! I'm only pullin your legs! Was that right?
Did I spell it right? [she drew an arrow from the 'Did' up to the word 'pullin' on the line above]. Never mind, I can speak English but I'm not a good writer, never mind, it's not 'that' important. I'll send a photograph of myself so if you want keep it! If not then put it in the bin! He! He!
I hope you still want to write to me!
I 'can't' write any more now, because my Mum is shouting at me up stairs!
Love from me.
Letter postmarked 31st August 1982 from Ulset Post Office, Bergen
[At the top of the letter in red handwriting the words were written:]
OBS! I wrote this letter three weeks ago but I'd forgotten all about it, but I thought I might as well send it!
Thank you very much for your letter and the nice card you wrote! You're a nice person, but you're very 'funny' at the same time. I've written a letter to you but I'll send both letters to you. I'm fine but I'm not a good girl (as you expressed yourself). Well I'm a good girl in some ways but not in all ways. I don't know, but you seem to feel a bit sorry for yourself. Right? Why? You wrote you had to fight to get someone otherwise you won't get anyone. Nonsense! Look, you've got a good look, you're nice (when you want to, he! he!). I'm joking, but you've got everything, you're not ugly, far-off, you're a good person, at least that's my impression! But I wasn't very happy about you when I was in England and if you expect me to forget it you're wrong! I won't because the way you treated me that last night wasn't too nice. Well, I've 'done' a lot wrong, but that doesn't mean that you've got the right to punish me or something. You ask me if I remember the night I begged you to stay, yes I do. I remember it all, but that doesn't mean that we shall forget all the bad things and just remember all the good things. You might think so, but I do not. I'm not saying you did all the wrong things, because that's not true, but you're not that good . that ... Well, I won't say anymore, you know exactly what I mean. Well I wish you good luck in life. Enjoy life and I hope you'll get what you want in it, marry a nice good girl, maybe from Egypt! And that you will be happy with your work. But listen, I don't care what you think but you don't need to fight to get something. Maybe you need to fight to get what you want but just not for something. You know what you want, and I think I've got an idea about what you want in life (I mean the kind of wife and etc. etc) still sometimes it seems to me that you don't know for sure what you want. I wish you luck and if you want to, I'll keep in touch with you. Okay.
XX [i.e. two kisses]
(She then drew a picture of herself in biro showing her head and long flowing hair).
I was at a loss to understand her reference to "all the bad things" as I hadn't done or said anything bad to her, but in the spirit of conciliation, I remember writing to her asking her to let bygones be bygones.
Letter dated 3.10.1982 sent with postmark of 7.10.1982 from Ulset Post Office
How are you? Oh, a stupid question! I just received your letter! Thank you very much! Nice to hear from you, as well. Nice to hear that you wish me well, and that you hope the 'bad' memories can fade away with time. (As you wrote) I don't think I will forget it but I'll forgive you 'sure'. Well, I suppose it's not the right way to write it 'forgive you' but I'm not that good in English! Bad to hear about your exams, I mean you're not too optimistic, 'bad news'. Well I hope you pass them, and I wish you good luck in Egypt. Sad in a way because I might go to England just over Christmas time or before Christmas, not sure yet. But I want to take a trip to England anyway and I will! So I might not see you this year or the next. And in 1983 or 1984 you're married, four kids and you don't want to talk to a 'stupid Norwegian' girl. Alright! When are you moving into your new house? Write and tell me will you. Give my regards to your parents (if they 'won't mind' I don't know if they like the impression about me you gave them) (of me, I mean) I guess you told them a lot, especially to your mother. Right?
[The above was written in red biro. What follows below is written in blue biro]
I'm back again! Now I'm 'sitting in a chair,' at school. Just now we talked or discussed religion, Islam, etc. etc. and everyone in the class said that a Muslim man has no respect for woman. Right! Sure! Women have to do what their husbands and parents etc. etc. tells them. Oh, shit, make me so angry, right of course if you believe in God, that's not a bad thing. But it seems to me sometimes that the 'males' think they've got the right to punish other people when they've done something wrong, especially the women, poor 'things'. As you said, good at cleaning house 'doing the things women should do'. He! he! Some of the Muslims (males) thinks they are God 'himself'. I know this is not a nice 'way to put it', but that's how I feel about it. So, I don't think I will turn to Islam and do what the Koran tells me to do. It's nothing wrong to believe in God and do what you think or God thinks is right. No, nothing. But Islam, NO NO. The woman got no rights, it doesn't surprise me that a lot of the girls and women feel unhappy, and think it must be good to be - western - American. Don't you think so!
Well, I do not want to make you upset, that's not the meaning of this letter! So, I don't think I'm in the right 'mood' to write today, but I just wanted to ask if you're all right etc. etc. And again, thank you for wishing me well! So take care!
P.S. I'm, sorry I didn't send this letter to you soon after I wrote it. Sorry!
These three letters from 1982 contradict the Bergens Tidende newspaper claims that I changed into an aggressive pest soon after Heidi returned to Bergen in 1982 after her time as an au pair in England.
Undated letter contained in a black envelope with a love heart stuck to the
back. Impossible to distinguish date stamp on envelope. Probably written in
the spring of 1984
How are you? It was very nice talking to you again! It's always nice talking to you. You're such a nice person and you know that too. But how are you now? Have you heard anything from the Egyptian girl recently? How are your mother? Is she doing fine or what? I don't understand why your father won't leave her alone and I don't understand why he is not treating your mother better than he do. Of what you told me she is such a good and warm person. She deserves far better than this! Well, I've got nothing to tell you. There is no news. But I am doing fine and again I hope you're fine too. I haven't got the money yet but I will soon so we'll see what happens. I might come and see you, I don't know. 'Have it'!
Lots of Love, Heidi
I hope I hear from you soon.
Undated letter from summertime in 1984
Hello! Thank you very much for your letter and the phone calls! Nice to hear your voice again. I don't know why but you made me feel happy, or should I say in a good mood. I have been thinking a lot about you (after you phoned me) and that was a bit 'strange' for me. As you always do or did, you made me think of life in general, about why we are all here and what happens when we die. That dream you had was very strange, don't you think so? When did you have that dream? After you phoned me on Monday? [This was the dream referred to above when I found myself in a burning building with Heidi]. Well there's a lot of things I'd ask you but I don't know where to begin. Did your Muslim friend marry the American girl three months after he had met her? Well, I think that's crazy. That's out of order I think. I suppose it's because of the way I'm brought up. I mean, if someone got married (here in Norway) after knowing each other for only three months, they normally break up after a couple of years because they didn't know each other enough before they got married. That happens again and again and it seems to me that some people just don't learn. I mean I'm not thinking of the two persons who got married but about their kids. I think that's terrible! They give up too easily. So I don't think I will get married, at least not in the first two to three years. I hope I can come to England and see you. If I can afford it. I would like to go and visit my friend (Salamon) in St. Albans too. Shirley and Colin too. I am going to finish the school this year and then I might study law. Don't be surprised!! Well, I've always wanted to do that. Well we'll see if I'm going to study law or if I'm going to study physiotherapy. There's a lot of things I would like to do. I am a big 'dreamer' you see, but it all depends on the result next year. Well, anyway I don't think there is more for me to say in this letter so I'd better end it here. I hope I see you soon.
Lots of love, Heidi
P.S. I'll give you three photos. You asked for one but when you get three that's hopefully enough. Ha, ha.
[Heidi sent me three photographs of herself - photographs taken by her father by the fjord in Bergen, Norway, playing with their black Labrador dog. She also sent me a Muver greetings plastic card enclosed in an envelope saying on the front "Someone Special". The card itself said "Anytime, anywhere, I'll be there if you need me" and signed "lots of love from Heidi."]
This next letter was the one which for five years had stayed on my London lawyer's file in storage - the original letter! And vital to my defence.
Letter post stamped 22.8.1984 at Arstad Post Office, Bergen
Nice to talk to you again, very nice! It feels strange, but you make me feel better every time I've talked to you. I don't know what I like so much about you, but it's something that's for sure. The first time you phoned me (about two weeks ago) you asked if I've ever been thinking of you when I had my problems. Well, I told you that I never did. But that's not the truth, actually I did a lot. I don't know why but I just wanted to forget all about you but I never did. Please believe me because I'm telling you the truth now. Thank you very much for listening to me when I told you about my problems. I don't understand why you bothered. Have you ever listened to Randy Crawford? She's my favourite! Especially her first solo LP: 'Raw Silk' and 'Secret Combination'. She has got a great voice and the lyrics are just wonderful. If you haven't got any records of her, please buy one or two and listen to them. There are especially two songs I like very much. The song I like best is: 'I Hope You'll Be Very Unhappy Without Me' (Raw Silk) and the other one is: 'Trade Winds' (Secret Combination). If you don't buy them, I'll buy them to you!! If you're going to buy a record or two, please don't buy the newest records of her, they're not good at all, because that is just horrible pop-disco. She had a concert here in Bergen, in February, I think. It was and she was just super! Well that's enough about Randy Crawford. So how are you? Fine I hope. You know what! I think a lot of you!
Bloody he! .. I don't know why I think of you. Oh, can't you marry two women! He!he!. That was a joke. I can finish my studies in Norway first and then I'll come over to England and get married to !! You will probably be old and dead by then!! He!he! What about marrying an Egyptian and Norwegian girl!? A blonde and a dark one, that should be a good or should I say nice combination!!? Marry the Egyptian one first and when you are fed up with each other I'll come over and .. Well, what I last wrote that was meant to be a joke, because I know that you will try hard to love your wife properly. So I hope you had a laugh when you read it. There are a lot of thoughts I would like to share with you but I just don't dare to talk about that to you or anyone else. It feels good to know that you care about me as a person and not just as a "sex object!". Seriously, I mean it. It feels very nice! But still I think we're gonna lose contact when you are married. You're gonna get married first, I know that! I am not gonna get married now that's for sure. There's none I like so much that makes me think of marriage. So I better get me a good education so that I can support myself so that I don't need a fool of a man to support me if he leaves me and our children. But I hope we'll never lose contact again. And if you ever get married you would be (very) welcome to my wedding and if you have a wife, she will obviously be welcome too. Well this is only wishful thinking. I told you about the girl who has got pregnant, poor little thing. My friend, the boy is not treating her good. She phoned me yesterday and she felt so depressed. Oh, it makes me feel so sad when I hear about things like that because I know how it feels. Oh, it feels just terrible. You know what you want to do but you have to think about the other one who is involved too and if he wants you to have an abortion well, is there anything to do except for having an abortion? Because you like the boy very much and you don't want to lose him 'just because of a baby' and then you go to a hospital and well you know!! Well, it's not just the baby. I'm just trying to tell you, and make you understand how it feels for a girl. And when you've had that abortion you will lose him anyway and you feel helpless. Absolutely terrible. Oh, it makes me cry when I know what she is going through now. I am too sentimental I know that, but that's something I can't change. I am sorry to tell you about this again, but there is so much I can see of myself in the girl! And all the stupid excuses the boy uses of not having the baby. Oh God, it's not fair! You go into the hospital and and afterwards you feel empty, oh so empty. And in a way you start to hate him and you hate yourself after what you have been doing to your body and the baby. And you start thinking of life, why people are doing what they do in different situations and you feel, well nothing really and after a while you'll end up like me. I don't trust anybody! I don't! And I hate myself for thinking the way I do. But I can't help it. I suppose it is a way of protecting myself. I want to be realistic but people tell me I am cold and hard. Do you understand what I mean? I think that's why I think of you, just because "you make me feel me". I can talk to you without being afraid of being laughed at. Well, I haven't got any more paper left so I better end it here. Kiss and love from Heidi.
Postcard post stamped 9th April 1985 from Ulset Post Office in Bergen with the front of the postcard showing two hands holding each other
Thank you very much for your letters! I just want to write this card to you to show you that I think a lot of you. I do really hope that you take care of yourself and that everything works out for you!!!!!!!!!!
Lots of love, Heidi xxxxxxx [i.e. seven kisses]