A couple of weeks ago, I had an unexpected email from a lady whom I hadn't seen for a very long time, in fact she was just a daft girl when we last met! Diane was the daughter of one of my customers, and lived just a hundred yards or so from the garage where I had my business repairing (mainly) heavy goods vehicles. After exchanging a few emails between us and another long-time pal (Eric) we arranged a get-together of some of the old gang from all those years ago.
The business had been my father's and I was taken into partnership at the tender age of 18, sadly, he died when I was 19 but I was able to carry the business on. We worked from 08.30 till 10 or 11 in the evening. I took a partner who had been a school friend, and we had several helpers, one of whom came to us as a boy Scout looking for a Bob-a-Job task! We never let him go, and inculcated into him our love of repairing trucks and things, which he has put to good use, and 40 years later has a really good business still doing what he loves best.
Here he is, sitting behind Diane. He is "Little" Eddie, a name which will be explained in a minute or two. The next picture (l to r) is of Dennis the welder (who, in his younger days, was a dead
ringer for the famous Roy Wood of "The Move"), Potter, Ian Miller (affectionately known as "Mudguard") and, of course (being the "Belle of the Ball") Diane. Ian was always
a regular visitor, sometime helper (and sometime hinderer!). He is now is a very successful car dealer, he very kindly lent us a car to get around during our present holiday.
Potter is, in fact, Edd Potter who was a friend who became a business partner in our haulage business a couple of years later. Seeing as I was Edward, Potter was Edd and Little Eddie was another Edward: those two adopted the names which just evolved, so that we weren't spending all day getting mixed up! Mind you, I think Little Eddie is a bit sick of his after 40 years!
Dennis was a factory welder, with Potter (and several other assorted lunatics which were to impact on our lives in different ways during this and the slightly later period), who was a visitor and sometime helper.
Other notable worthies turned up, but (as usual) yours truly hadn't checked the camera, and the batteries ran out after half a dozen pictures!!!!!!!
It was a very good night, spoilt only by the loud music in the pub which I struggled to contend with, with my partial deafness. We have promised to arrange another meet-up in the summer, but at a quieter venue!
OUR LITTLE ANGEL
Our youngest granddaughter started school in September, even though she is still only a baby! Fortunately, the school she attends hasn't wholly sucumbed to the political correctness which was instrumental in us deciding to escape to Luxor, and they still have a nativity play! Isabella is too young to have a major part, but she made a beautiful angel. (Yes, I know I'm biased!)There she is, right in the middle of the first picture, and posing nicely in the second.
A NIGHT OUT
I also went to the brilliant "Sage" at Gateshead to see Maddy Prior (of Steeleye Span fame) and the Carnival Band perform their annual concert of Christmas songs. The tickets are our usual Christmas gifts from my lovely sister, she gets one for me, one for son Benjamin and another for Alice, our youngest daughter. It was a super concert, but photography isn't allowed, sorry!
A NIGHT OF GREAT FUN!
On Sunday 19th December (last night) Benjamin and I accompanied sister Susan and her husband Roy to their folk music club at South Shields, that's where Christine (the owner of the Tuttie Fruttie Cafe in Luxor) comes from. We used to sing together regularly in our younger years, but now rarely have the opportunity. However, last night we did! We first gave them three verses of "While Sheperds Watched" to the tune "Up and Doon", which we sing every year while out Carol Singing. Our Benjamin got up and helped us out, even though he sang with his eyes closed, so that he could pretend that he wasn't in front of a crowd of people.
A few of the Windy Nook Girls Brigade Band were there, and gave the gathered folkies a medley of Christmas Carol tunes, they were pretty good and went down well!
After the first half, we were presented with a goodly spread of food consisting of pies, sausage rolls, roast potatoes, mince (spoilt by the addition of chillies), cheeses and pickled onions, crisps, cheese flans and Cadburys Chocolate Fingers!!!! It was just as well, as we hadn't had time for any tea.
The band started the second half off with some more carols, and we sang "Bright Morning Star Arising" with Christmas words written by our Susan's friend Maddy Prior. It felt good while singing it and it seemed to go down very well. We had a great night, it's just a pity that Freda doesn't enjoy that sort of thing.
Well, that's all the news for now, but I'll be back!!!!