I heard Dad go at five thirty this morning. When I eventually got up at ten, Mum was already up. I gave her the bath-foam which I had bought her for her birthday (she is 46) and wished her many happy returns.
Andrew got up shortly after and gave her a big box of chocolates and we spent a good-natured morning reading the ‘Sunday Times.’ It didn’t seem like a Sunday today somehow. Usually they have real atmospheres (perhaps it’s because I’m on holiday). Mum went out and did the privets while we played records downstairs. Writing it down like this makes Andrew and myself seem harsh and thoughtless letting Mum do work on her birthday but what else can I say?
We played Jeff Beck (‘Final Peace’ is superb), Al DiMeola and also Santana’s “Caravanserai.” Unlike some other music (eg Al D.), you don’t have to be in the right mood for Santana – it is fab whatever the weather.
Dad came home at two and went to bed for most of the afternoon. Andrew and I were watching the Olympics when Uncle Kenneth rang (fresh as usual) to wish Mum happy birthday. He also said that they could be coming round for a ‘birthday drink’ (all this, we later found out, on the instigation of N.P.). Mum really didn’t want them to come but sure enough, at about four-thirty, Kenneth, Shirley, Janet and her husband Trevor and Nanna P. rolled up. Lots of false sentiments and alcoholic laughter.
It was quite ironic in a way because just before, we had been talking about Uncle Kenneth and Dorothy and so-on, and according to Mum, my Uncle Kenneth had bought Shirley a house at Royden while he was still married to Dorothy, and when S. became pregnant, Aunty Dorothy walked out on him. I really feel sorry for my Aunty Dorothy although she’s past caring now. It really made me think though when Shirley, thick, false and oozing hypocrisy came wafting in.
Everybody had drinks and I sat in the corner content to listen to the conversation. Kenneth, fueled by a lunchtime pint (or two), bellowed on about politics. “I’m a socialist” he said proudly. Two-faced lying bastard!! He doesn’t know the meaning of the word. As well as being the biggest racialist ever he goes on about Scargill, making excuses for his wealth saying “Well, he’s bloody well achieved it through sheer hard work.” As if that was an excuse for owning four houses or whatever. It made me bloody incensed and I had to forcibly bite my tongue. Hypocrite. I’m glad Dad was in bed or there would’ve been a real battle (Hitler v Andy Capp cum Tony Benn or something similar). “At work they call me ‘Red’ Ken.” Silly sod!
After N.P. and co. went at five thirty, we had tea and then I played records all evening. I love music – without it I’d go mad.