We’re still away from home: grandparental duties now over in Surrey, and with me going to a deacons’ retreat near Oxford on Thursday, we decided to take a coupla days at my old stamping ground in Winchester.
On our first afternoon we drove out to the village which had been my Dad’s parish, and we stopped outside the church where we got married. I was taking a photo when an elderly couple who were out walking their dog stopped by us. Well, the old gent stopped but his wife carried on with the dog … if she’d had a balloon over her head it would have read ‘why does he always have to stop and talk to strangers????!!’
Anyway, he was very friendly and said he could answer any questions about the church for us, and I told him I’d grown up there and who my Dad had been and that we’d got married in the church. And he said he had an amusing story about Dad. I pricked up my ears.
They moved to the village the year after we were married. He was getting the house sorted and he’d arranged for a man to come and put up the TV aerial on the roof. The door bell went and when he opened the door, he said that there was a nice-looking man (take a bow, Dad) muffled up to the ears in a scarf because it was a cold November. Dad introduced himself.
‘Ah good,’ said Old Boy. ‘I’ll show you exactly where I’d like you to fix the aerial.’
It took a few minutes to establish that Dad had not said ‘erector’ but ‘rector’…