24 years of doom

Little did Mrs H know, way back in 1992, that she was doomed to spend the next 24 years married to me. It says a lot for her sheer bloody mindedness that she’s still hanging in there, or it could be that she knows when she’s on to a good thing.

After all, how many husbands would take a day off work, and jump on a 26 bus to the Toby Carvery for an all you can eat six quid buffet AND offer to pony up the extra 30 bob for a King Size. That woman’s got it made.

I’ve even offered to take her back next year for our silver wedding and splash out on a pudding.

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Fathers Day

Apparently it’s Fathers Day this month.  Now, by the time my Dad died, 35+ years ago, that was some fancy American nonsense for jessies and / or the English.  Today, a quick search on Amazon showed that there are 1,246 CDs available for purchase with titles like “The Best Dad In The World…Ever”, “My Dad Rocks”, “How It Works: The Dad: The Album”, “Dad – The Collection” and “Please Stop Beating Me Dad, I’ll be Good, I’ll Be Good”.

Back in pre-jessie days, my Dad owned precisely three records, accumulated over 40 years of passionate collecting.  They were;

As I Love You – a 4 track EP by Shirley Bassey
The Best Of The Mills Brothers, and
Glen Daly Live at the Ashfield Club

Amongst his friends, this was regarded as affectation of the highest order. Most of them got by with a Josef Locke 78 for high days and holidays.

So, here for your pleasure, is his collection.

 

 

My Dad (below left)

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Party, party, party with the Robinsons

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The Robinsons knew how to have a good time.  And here’s Evelyn (Eva) Robinson, fourth from right front row, with her brother William Robinson (my Uncle Bill), second from left, sometime in the early fifties.

My Mums sister Eva, married Jimmy Martin, and had three children, two of them died young.  Valerie died from bronchitis, aged 9 months and Leonard died aged 19 after an accident on a building site.  As far as I know her son Jimmy (Young Jim) is still around, although I last saw him at my Mums funeral in 2008.

Eva died in 2003, aged 84, Bill died in 2005, aged 77.

Once upon a time Part 2

Continuing the notion that I used to be a real person, here’s a picture taken at Northallerton on some kind of corporate beano.  I can’t remember what I was doing, or who many of the people were, but it must have cost a fortune to ship us all there.

I’m in the back with the impenetrable shades.  The bloke two to the left from me was called Chris, the girl on the right at the back was Nicola.  Front row, far left was Catherine, and in the middle of the front row was Sarah Bellamy.  She moved to Cyprus, became Sarah Karmiotou and, last I heard (2015), was very poorly. Fingers crossed.

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Once upon a time …

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.

 

Tracy Lerpiniere Campbell McCafferty

Happy Deid Dad Day

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.

Alexander Walker Hamilton World War II

A Letter to Santa from Mr H, aged 6 years and 2 months

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.

A letter 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.

Auntie Famie

Mrs H had an auntie die this week. It was her Auntie Famie.  I never met her as she’s moved to England a long time ago, along with her husband Bob Todd.  I only found out her name was Famie Todd after she’d died, which was downright spooky because I had an Auntie Famie, who married a man called George Tod!  So we both had Auntie Famie (Tod/ds).  Weird.

Anyway, my Auntie Famie was actually my Dads Aunt, so she was my Great Auntie Euphemia.  My Grans’ sister, Euphemia Moore Bell was born on February 5, 1906, in 3 Faraday Place, Addiewell, her father was William and her mother, Mary. She married George Robertson Tod on December 24, 1932 and died on March 18, 1994, at the Eastern General, at the age of 88.

Her Mum died when she was 2 years old, and she was farmed out to her aunt and uncle in Dalzel, Lanarkshire. I mainly lived with her and George from when I started primary school aged 4, up until I got the key to my Mum and Dads house when I was about 9. They lived 3 doors down from us in Temple Park Crescent and as I had a lisp as a youngster, she was always Mamie to me, as I couldn’t handle the letter F back then..

Picture 1 shows Famie as a young woman, with my Dad, and his sister Molly (Mary) and brother Ian (John), probably in either Breich Terrace or Addiewell, in the twenties.
Picture 2 shows George as a young man. He was a violin maker, and had a workshop in his house, as well as playing in orchestras and dance bands.*
Picture 3 shows Famie and George as I remember them in the seventies.
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*picture taken by Drummond Shiels, Photographer, 70 & 72 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh