in a far and distant land, the venerable Mr H was a proper person with a proper job and everything. I know that children today find this hard to believe, but it’s true. I was a high flyer with responsibilities and all sorts. And here’s pictorial evidence that I once knew people who grew up to be fancy Dans. Now I know it looks like I’m about to remove from the premises but they were actually almost friends of mine.
On the right is Tracy Keates (later Tracy Lerpiniere) and on the left is Campbell McCafferty. Mr McCafferty went on to do top secret hush hush work for the Ministry of Defence, which was so secret and hush hush that he ended up in the Honours List, adding a CBE to his name. Ms Lerpiniere ended up as Head of NATO and Europe Policy (MOD), which also sounds very important indeed. I, however, abandoned such petty matters, instead concentrating on the nature vs. nurture debate, ending up as an emotionally stunted (thanks Dad), mentally unstable (cheers Mum), unemployable jakey (both sides). So we’re all winners. Happy New Year.
Apparently there is some Christmas thing happening about now, but to me, the 24th December will always be Deid Dad Day. Yes, it was Christmas Eve, 1980 when my Dad died, just after my Mum had nipped oot tae the shops with my Auntie Eva to buy some Christmas stuff, seeing as how my Dad was supposed to be staying in the hospital. But in the finest tradition of the NHS, they said he was OK to come home. The ambulance dropped him off late morning, my Mum went to the shops just after dinner, so it was just me and my Dad when he died.
Here he is, taking a short break from kicking Hitlers arse in World War 2, second from the left, at a military wedding. Do the click thing for a big version.
Quite why my auld Irish mammy kept this with her bits and bobs is beyond me. But there it was, when I was going through her stuff, after she died. Perhaps it was a reminder of the last proper Christmas we had as a family. Certainly, it’s a reminder of when things were much simpler. I hate to think of the catalogue that kids present to their parents these days. Anyway, Christmas 1971 saw me composing an ode to Santa.
That’s a grand total of two things, only one of which I got. And it wasn’t a bike!
PS – Santa – if you see this, I’ve flitted since 1971. So, if you’ve got a bike for me this year, email for my new address. Thanks.