I remember, I remember … walking across a field in Warwick with my father towards the house where he was born. It was a long time ago but he must have been having a similar moment to the one I’m experiencing this evening for he said to me, ‘I don’t really understand what it’s all about’. By ‘it’, he meant life, the universe, anything that we’re brought up to believe are our terms of reference.
I had a wake-up call today – in itself a misnomer as I’m rarely asleep. A missive arrived to say I’d have a winter fuel allowance imminently. Surely they’re for old folk? Well, 200 unexpected smackers in the bank are quite handy for the festive season, but still… it’s tricky.
By coincidence, I was looking for a photo of an errant husband tonight for daughter number two. And whilst searching, I found the snap above. It’s me with Spencer Thomas Alan Havelock-Allan – a direct descendant of the baronets and latter-day famous film director. He was working in Keymarkets at the time on the yoghurt counter. In this photo, we’d just come back from the fair in Trowbridge. I can’t imagine who took this picture or why. People didn’t have the instant access to cameras that they do now. We had no notion of digitalisation so we must have paid someone to take it. And the ‘someone’ must’ve sent it to us. But how did that happen? We had no money. Did we forfeit a turn on the Waltzers in order to have a piece of memorabilia of life in Trowbridge? Was it a special occasion?
More importantly, where is Spencer Thomas Alan Havelock-Allen today? Has he discarded his leather jacket? Is he, too, in receipt of old person’s heating allowance and a senior railcard? Is he also moaning about having to still go to work despite all these formal recognitions of advanced age? Is he dead?
I’m hoping he’s living in the back of beyond listening to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, riding a Royal Enfield Constellation, and keeping warm (courtesy of Cameron’s heating allowance). Here’s two fingers to old age.