Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't mention the War ( unless you want an outbreak of happiness)

A sort of courtesy aunt whose funeral I recently attended shows how differently people (and events) can be viewed.
I thought of her as a determined spinster - an amusing card of my acquaintance described her as a package returned unopened.I liked that and it fitted my view of her precisely.
I was taken aback at the funeral to meet an extremely elderly man, who no one knew. For reasons I can never fathom, as ever, I was detailed to find out his reason for being there.
I introduced myself and asked what his connection with the deceased was.
" I was one of her lovers during the war." I must have looked shocked, because the elderly gentleman went on, " I wasn't the only one of course."
It turned out her nickname had been the Faslane ******; delicacy forbids using the word on a family blog.
By all accounts she had a wonderful war and fully deserved the nickname.
" But then, " said my informant " We all did. It was the best time any of us have ever had. I used to travel up from Pompey ( he had been a sailor) when I landed taking more than 24 hours to get here, spend a couple of hours with her and then 24 hours back again."
" And was it worth it?"
He grinned at me.
" It was a bloody sight better than a bar of chocolate and a pint of weak beer."
And off he wandered straighter of back and jauntier of step and with a silly grin on his face.

2 comments:

Brian Boru said...

Another cracking anecdote, KL.

I passed your Blog on to a friend who thought likewise and responded with this:

That's epic! In about 1948, a maiden aunt of my recently deceased father died in Carluke and the family hastened to the graveside - for the reading of the will! My mother returned empty handed, as did most of the hopefuls. The not insubstantial estate had been left to one [let's pick a name] Dr Helen Smith. A questioning buzz greeted the solicitor's announcement, whereupon a smartly dressed 30+ year old stood up at the back of the room and said, 'I'd better introduce myself. I am Helen Smith. I am Miss Hunter's daughter'. And nobody had ever known!

kinglear said...

BB - yes that happens! An old lady up the west coast showed me some pictures a few years ago, and at one she proudly remarked " and that's my son"
Like a fool I said, oh, I didn't know you were married
" Nor am I. But I never said I was cherished..."