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Past Times

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I visit my parents regularly, every day in fact. They live in what we call sheltered accommodation for the elderly. It's a great little place. The heating, electricity, rates and rent are all taken care of by just a minimum payment each week. The cold winter months can be deadly for the old and infirm, but I'm pretty much satisfied that my parents at least will be nice, warm, and taken care of during that spell.

We sit in the apartment and talk about all the things we did in days gone by. They make me laugh and sometimes make me sad but talking about them makes me realize that no matter who or where we are in the world your life is a book waiting to be written and we all have a story to tell.

My dad was remembering the time he stuck my Auntie Mary in the trash can and no one could get her out, only her head and two legs were visible! And the time he bought a boat, yes a boat! We owned a small cruiser for the best part of a week, after that it went back. We have waterways here in England called canals which run the length and breadth of the country. It was kind of a new thing in the 70s to take to water, and British Waterways opened up the canals for leisure. My dad in his wisdom and being a sailor in his youth, decided it was the life for him.

The speed limit is 4 miles per hour, walking pace on the water. My dad opened up the boat on a stretch of water reserved for fishermen. The front of the boat lifted and we sped along the canal like a scene from James Bond. It was the first and last time we ever did that because he was banned from using the canal after fishermen complained of a maniac in a speedboat soaking them through and frightening the fish. Truth is, it wasn't just the fish who were frightened but my poor mother was traumatized and the trip was anything but pleasurable.

His next project was to build a workshop for his Dove Coat hobby. He used to make Dove coat's as big as mansions and I swear a Golden Eagle could have set up home in one of those. I still have visions of the day he began to erect the workshop. It was an extremely windy day but dad being dad decided to go ahead anyhow. He managed to secure the sides and he was about to fit the roof when a huge gust of wind got hold of the sides and with my dad clinging on he was left standing with the roof on his head in the middle of the garden not knowing which way to turn. Needless to say, myself and my Mum just stood at the window watching the whole episode. He wasn't known for having a short fuse but there was some colorful swearing from his mouth that day.

My earliest memory and one which I smile about to this day was when I was very young and yearned for a rabbit and a dog. I was staying with my grandmother at the time. He'd been to the pub with some of his friends and was a little drunk. I knew he would be coming home around 4pm and I remember standing at the window when suddenly, a rabbit skipped by the window and before I could speak, a dog as well. He'd been to the pet shop on the way home, bought me a rabbit and a dog but they got away and off they ran down the street. There were people running everywhere trying to catch the animals and thankfully they did! I got my rabbit and my dog eventually and my dad slept off the whole ordeal.

They don't make memories like that anymore. I'm so privileged to have a life that has always been full of eventualities and at least I have something to be thankful for.

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