After Gail's, my elder sister, wedding and reception family and friends were invited back to mum's house. She had laid on quite a spread I recall. Among the guests were the grandparents of the groom. They really were lovely people and when Mum was clearing up the day after she found some money left under a tray with a little note from Andrew's grandad saying how much he had enjoyed himself and that he had left a little token of appreciation to help defray the cost of the buffet. I remember Mum was really touched and she excitedly told me he had left £20. Not a lot these days but in the early seventies a handy sum. "I gave your Dad a fiver" she told me "and he's going out for a drink." Now when Dad had a few bob in his pocket and was getting ready to go to the village local (The Junction Hotel) he tended to whistle happily and as he skipped off down the road he was certainly whistling that day because I went with him and he bought the first round.
Fast forward thirty years. Sadly Dad had now gone and Mum was living in York in the same village as us. She rang me and was clearly in a state. "You'll have to come round", she said "I'm really upset!". Not having a clue what was wrong I hastily dashed round to her bungalow to find out what was going on. Fearing something serious I was relieved to find her in her chair and seeming more angry than upset. "Your father" she said in the tone that only women can use. As I calmed her down it transpired she had been talking to Gail on the phone and somehow the subject of her wedding had come up. When Mum had mentioned how touched she was that Andrew's grandad had left £20 behind that day there was a pause. "But Mum" Gail eventually said "he left £50!" That was the bombshell that had caused the upset and Mum was fuming that Dad had conned her yet again. He'd pocketed £30 before she found the money and to add insult to injury she'd given him another £5 to go for a drink. Obviously he couldn't refuse her kind offer - no wonder he was whistling so merrily! I just burst out laughing and eventually Mum saw the funny side of it too - how even though he was no longer with us he could still have such an effect on us. The laughter was mingled with tears because it brought back memories and we both realised how much we missed him and still do.
I hope you enjoyed this little anecdote and I for one am looking forward to the completion of Mum's latest book which will contain lots more memories of a man I am pleased was my Dad.