Many years ago as I was at home in central Brighton, waiting for Mother-of-witch to arrive, I heard what could charitably be described as a motorbike on steroids drive up our little cul-de-sac. It was the right time, but definitely not the right sound. But as I looked out, it turned out to be her after all. Seems she had lost a bit of her exhaust en route.
At the time I thought nothing about her driving around England. It’s only as I’ve got really old that I understand how brave she was being, getting her car on and off the ferries, and driving on all those roads with roundabouts everywhere, and on the wrong side, too.
I gave her tea. It was the least I could do after her exhausting ordeal, and she told me about her drive from the Lake District. Earlier that day she’d had a look round Bath. And after she had seen what there was to see, she had gone up to a policeman and asked him where she had parked her car.
Bath policemen are obviously really good, because he was able to tell her. (It probably helped that she had made a note of the name of the street.)
As a parent myself I have occasionally ‘entertained’ Offspring with this story. I’ve never expected them to listen, or to remember it.
But last week as Son made his Bath debut with a day trip to this beautiful city, he came back and asked about that story about his grandmother losing the car in Bath. Had I been with her?
I explained that if I had, I clearly wouldn’t have permitted Mother-of-witch to lose a car like that.
But I’m quite impressed. He’d listened. He’d remembered, and even placed the lost car in the correct place.
I may need to be more careful what I say. More silly anecdotes could resurface when I least expect it.
And we had the exhaust fixed before she drove home.