I spent yesterday with my father, he recovering from a minor procedure. Over a quiet pub lunch, amidst the familiar stories, he suddenly came out with a new one.
After their 1950 marriage-day festivities were completed, with a suite beckoning in Brighton’s Grand Hotel (the one famous for the 1984 IRA bombing during the Tory party conference), the deal was that my parents would secretly retire to change at a local bed & breakfast and then appear, albeit briefly, at the evening dinner being hosted by his in-laws.
They duly arrived in their evening dress finery and occupied the two spare seats of honour for the duration.
One of the features earlier in the day had been the appearance of famous pianist Charlie Kunz – a friend of the family – to play the organ at the church. When the time came for my parents to depart, the outrageous livewire Pat Kunz (wife of Charlie), a former music hall chorus girl, tapped my father on the shoulder and then leaned in to whisper with a wink:
“I hope you ate all that steak, David – you’re surely going to need it!”