Sunday, 18 November 2007


After a morning visit to the pub Nan might bring a few of her chums home. These were mostly Pat, Joan (not John) Lennon and Gay Les. Pat was a salt of the earth woman from Blackheath. Gay Les was very much like Lionel Blair. Thin, energetic… wore a brown leather flying jacket and a white silk scarf. If he wasn’t so camp I’d have likened him to Russ Abbott in the flying gags. Which is appropriate because… they did love a party with a happy atmosphere. Unless they’d been squabbling. If not, Grandad or Joan would say ‘Backs to the walls, chaps’ and he’d merrily goose them all. Records went on, mouth organs came out. Her and Grandad might row – she’d throw a slipper at his head if he couldn’t (wouldn’t) hear her.

Joan Lennon would aggressively wave her walking stick at people and drive wrecklessly whilst under the influence – her motorised wheelchair. But it never really mattered because their other good friend was Lick ‘em and Stick ‘em, the psychic traffic warden.

One afternoon Nan, Joan, Lick ‘em, Dad and I were in the front room at Nan’s when Grandad came running in, soooo excited. He’d spotted a UFO. Lick ‘em (the psychic) (sidekick) was beside herself with anticipation. A lover of all things voodoo, this was such a thrill. We all ran out to see it.

But oh, it was the sun going behind a cloud! And they were a group of romantic alcoholics. Sorry, I got p-sidetracked myself here.

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