Wednesday, 26 December 2012

A tale from Christmas Past

Christ, did I have a bad night's sleep! My bloody should was giving me huge amounts of pain and after tossing and turning for what seemed like an age I eventually dosed myself up with pain killers and retired to the spare room for some space and to avoid disturbing 30%. I think I eventually fell asleep between two and three and was woken by the pain at around six this morning. There is obviously something serious going on with my right shoulder but I haven't a clue what I have done to it.

Having taken further painkillers to take the edge of it, I was off around the Three Miler as BMS and SMS* were joining us for lunch. Dad was in pretty good form and insisted that I include a tale from Christmas past in my blog. This is probably quite a good suggestion as otherwise this will be yet another entry filled with present opening and the eating of turkey and ham based products ...

... When my Dad was young and still courting my Mother he recalled an occasion when he accompanied her on a Christmas visit to her paternal Grand Parents who lived in Kings Road in Evesham. Basically it was a seasonal gathering of the family and my Dad reports that it was quite a party as my Mother's Dad was one of twelve children.

I'll nip off at a tangent for a minute to mention that I knew very few of my Maternal Grandfather's family but was always very fond of his sister; Ev who bore a striking resemblance to Harpo Marx and was one of those grown ups that was a delight to be around as a child. The other sibling I remember was Harry who was always better known as The Tailors Dummy on account of his posture and huge amount of personality. Now one might ask why Harry was so well remembered if he was so dull. The answer to this quandary was his wife; Meg. Even as a boy I could recognise that this vivacious woman in her sixties must have been an absolute Stunner when she was a young woman and apparently she was incredibly popular with the American Air Men during the war. BMS didn't go in to a huge amount of detail about Meg's personal life but the word prostitute was muttered briefly at one point! It perhaps explains how a Proof Reader for the Evesham Journal managed to keep a home together during the War Years!

Now turning back to the Gathering this was a typical Christmas Party with drinks, news and leg pulling  and one particular tale stood out from the rest ...

... it revolves around yet another of my Grandfather's brothers and this one was was somewhat lacking in the brains department. The story was told that, on an incredibly cold and frosty morning, this dullard came across a freshly deposited pile of horse shit in the road. The warmth of the manure and the coldness of the air resulted in significant quantities of steam rising from the road apples. Apparently this simple lad was found attempting to light his pipe from the pile assuming that the steam was smoke and as we all know, there is no smoke without fire.

This tale always resulted in huge laughs at the poor chap's expense and my Dad can remember how my Grand Father used to get really uptight whenever it was told.**

There you go Dad, I've set it down for posterity.

It was a case of revolving doors for, as my Dad and Sue left, 30%'s sister, brother and the Elf arrived for the exchanging of gifts and supper. We had a lovely evening and the Elf was delighted with the framed mirror I had made for her. We were informed that it was to be hung the very next day.

We also finally unwrapped the Gravlax experiment and served it as a starter with cream cheese and a slice of brown bred and butter. I can report that it worked really well and is one that I will definitely do again.

It was a late night and I retired again dosed with as many pain killers as I could take.
* My Brother was included in the invitation but we never know in advance whether he is going to turn up or not.
** My maternal Grandfather was a pompous idiot who, to use the modern vernacular was really up his self. He liked to recount a tale of lost opportunities back in his families past when a will, that would have resulted in him having a share in a grand estate in Gloucestershire, was thrown on to a fire as his Grandfather died after breaking his back. In reality he was a motor mechanic who got lucky when he fell through a roof at his employer's premises ...

... firstly he was lucky because they had just discovered penicillin and could therefore treat infection and secondly because he made a significant claim against his employer's insurance.

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