Some things are more important than others in life and I had to learn this the hard way.Some things that are have always been close and important are my friends and family who have stood by me through thick and thin.
Im the 4th sibling in the family, Jean and Bob are the older of the siblings…I wont give ages as my sister will beat me, taking years off me till I’m the same age as them. David is the 3rd in line and is 9 years older, then me.
My father died when I was 5 and sadly dont have many memories of him. My father was a great man and would well into my teens, be reminded by people I didnt or barely know, who would stop me in the street, enquire if I was John Lavericks son and everyone would always have a wonderful, positive thing to say with examples why they thought my father was a great man.
One memory which has always stuck with me was sitting round the kitchen table with him. He would make me cornflakes with warm milk and…well thats all I remember. Or sitting in bed with him on a saturday when he was then very ill with cancer, watching wrestling together. I was’nt into wrestling, but for me it was just being with him. And my other memory was running home from school to go straight upstairs to find my father wasnt there. Delighted I ran downstairs thinking he was up, only to find all the family looking upset, then my mum taking me upstairs to tell me what had happened.
My mum had me late in life “ A pleasant surprise,” as she put it. Bringing up 2 kids on a widows pension was hard for her, but we never went without anything and we had a happy childhood. Mum was a good cook and Friday was broth night. Coming home from school, mum would sit with a big bowl in front of her, peeling all the veg, cutting pieces of Swede, carrot and potato off and giving me a piece of each as that was the best bit. Cooked wasn’t the same.
My sister Jean and brother Bob had left home by this point leaving David and I at home with my mother. We were good kids but of course fought like brothers do. My brother called me midge as obviousley I was smaller than him, or at least was till 14, but the name has stuck since then. Being young I was probabley a pain to my brother but he did give me electric shocks till I made him a cup of tea. Well he used to stick his fingers in my ribs which was like being electricuted, till i agreed to make it.
My brother Bob became more of a father figure to me, I looked up to him, still do, giving me guidance throughout my life. I remember him sitting David and I down and telling us if he ever saw us smoking a cigarette or adorned with a tattoo, he would bray the living daylights out of us. Neither of us smoke and neither of us got a tattoo…… I’m a terrible alcoholic, cocaine junky, but that wasn’t in the rules….I’m only joking, Ive never tried drugs…I would make a useless celebrity.
Probably to give mum a weekend off, I would often stay with my Sis or brother. It was my brother who taught me how to cook, Bolognese, stews, casseroles. I wonder if I can blame him for my enlarging belly. I would discuss books with my sister in law and we would go for a long walk somewhere nice for the day. On returning, I would go through my brothers record collection which more often than not meant I put Jon and Vangelis, Friends of Mr Cairo album on.
We still laugh about this, but my sister had the best house in the world. Next to the sea you could hear Souter lighthouse not far away, an old fasioned high sided metal bath and a black and white portable tv, which meant I could watch tv in bed. I loved telling people, Unfortunatly, “ My sister has a tin bath and black and white tv,” sounds like she was on hard times when I told it. Devestated when they sold that house.
My brother in law was a captain on a ship. Exciting times for me as he got me a large map to put on my wall. Every time he went into port, I would get a card from the country and I would put a pin in the map with a piece of string, to show where he had been. I would get presents from parts of the world he had visited, my favourite being an electronic game where you had to mend pipes where the rats had coroded the pipes by….Peeing on them. Amusing to me, but greeted by mum with a glare and a tut.
But we are all grown up now and still very close. My brothers and sisters all have children…Kieran if your Dad gave you electric shocks to make you do things, its not too late to ring Social Services….Worrying thing, he is social services.