I was fortunate to live with my father up until he died in 2012. He was a quiet man, but had a number of funny things he would say.
When he first met my mother, back during the war years, luxuries such as underwear was not something he had. He came from a poor family so such ‘modern necessities’ were not something he enjoyed. My mum’s mother discovering this made him his first pair of underpants from an old calico flour bag. The joke was that he went around in underpants with Betty Sydney plastered across the back of them.
For all of my adult life Dad would have a bet on the horses each Saturday. He perused the form guide telling me the winner of each race was in there somewhere. At the end of each Saturday I’d see a pile of betting tickets torn in half on the dining table. I’d ask the obvious question, “How did you go today?” He’d always smile and say, “It’s a hard game”.
On nights where I would be home late he’d cook his own dinner, always in one pan or pot. “It saves on the washing up,” he’d say.
At one stage one of my daughters lived with him and she’d leave her washing for him to hang out, he always offered to do so. When hanging out her underwear he’d say he was never sure where to put the peg.
After I moved in with him he very quickly left me the job of cooking dinner each night. At the end of the main meal I’d ask him if he wanted any dessert to which he’d say, “We’d better have something to take the taste away.”
As he aged his eyesight deteriorated and so having spent his life as a builder that pleasure was no longer something he could enjoy. However, he found things to do. I’ll never forget that one occasion when I came home to discover he had painted every garden tool we had green simply because he had enough green paint to do so. I couldn’t argue with that logic!