Sunday, 28 December 2008

My brother and other animals

On the 28th December 2008 l lost my brother Terry or as l called him ... Tel. Some would say that he wasn't my brother but my brother-in-law ... well, they're wrong. Just because blood's thicker than water doesn't mean that you can't turn water into blood. l know ... we did it.

l met him around 1970 through Kevin, the son of my mother's friend Betty Kingdom. Tel was part of a group of lads consisting of himself, Kevin, Paul McFaul and Ron (l forget his second name but there again probably never knew it). Ron always reminded me of Dracula (sorry Ron, but you did), Kev had a Harpo Marx look and the best way of describing Paul was and is an infectious laughing machine that just makes you feel good. l must also mention that he was the original Master of Disaster and l may expand on that at a later date.

They knew each other through the painting and decorating trade as far as l can remember but l may be wrong on that. lt's all a little hazy to be honest as l was somewhat of a hippy so you'll have to bear with my version of events.

The lads were definitely not hippies but were in fact what l would call 'mods'. They were into Tamla Motown and dressed very smartly and fashionable ... unlike myself! (see my facebook). l seem to have carried this on throughout my life much to the embarrassment of my mother ;-)

Now this may seem a strange relationship until you realise that the common denominator was Lambretta scooters. l had an SX225, Kev and Ron GP200's, Paul another Lambretta but the model escapes me but l do remember it squeaked because the lads used to say it had a mouse inside it. What about Tel you ask? ... well, he didn't have one and rode pillion on Kev or Ron's.

l flitted in and out of this 'gang' because of my different lifestyle but spent many an afternoon watching football with them at Paul's home apartment that his mother had and was situated on the top floor of a solicitors office down Bowl Alley Lane, Hull. Other times included trips to Scarborough and Bridlington etc with the almost inevitable breakdown of Paul's mouse machine and not forgetting the 'nights out'!

l did actually dress up for the nightclubs but not because l wanted to ... it was the only way you could get in! One did all this in the hope of attracting a member of the opposite sex and l can tell you that our success rate was absolutely phenomenal. Well, l'd call 'zero' outstanding anyway. So, we'd leave the nightclub slightly worse for wear, console ourselves with the obligatory burger or curry and chips whilst telling the numerous various tales of 'that bird in the corner that fancied me' and staggering off into the night homeward bound.

The Lambretta was also a weapon in my arsenal to attract the girls. lt was originally an awful orange and yellow so l decided to change the colour to something that l found appealing. l proceeded to strip the whole bike down much to my mother's consternation. My nana had helped me purchase this bike by means of a 'teenager loan' which is not to be confused with a 'bank loan'. A 'teenager loan' is an amount of money given by parents or grandparents to their offspring with the strict understanding that it is to be paid back but coupled with the almost certain knowledge that this will never be the case. Some may think that this is grossly unfair but justice is done when in later years said teenagers become parents themselves. Forget Global Economy as Parent Economy is far more relevant ... well, to teenagers anyway.

So over the following weeks (or maybe months due to cost and reluctance of said parties to increase 'teenager loan') the Lambretta started to take shape. The lads called round on various occassions to see how it was progressing as the Lambretta gang was missing a whole 25% of their number. Thinking about it, it was more likely 50% as Paul's bike was invariably off the road due to one mishap or another. At this point you may be asking why l am telling you all this? Well ... think about it. Lads coming to my house?, my sister Gail is there?, Tel is there? ... get it now?

Don't race ahead of me now and think they fell in love at first sight and rode off into the sunset. This was the beginning of the beginning and love must take it's course and time whilst adhereing to time honoured rituals and tribulations. l would have been totally oblivious to anything anyway due to the fact that this was my sister Gail whom was going through her teenage years and it would have never occured to me that anyone could fancy her. Not that she wasn't gorgeous ... she was but people didn't know what she was like and capable of !!!. She drove me crazy! l now realise that l did the same to her ;-)

During this period of Lambretta restoration, unbeknown initially to me, 2 of the lads were slagging me off. l won't say who but it was no doubt due to the green-eyed monster in respect to how my Lambretta was turning out. One of the lads stuck up for me even though he had been close friends to the other 2 for far longer than he had ever known me. This was Tel.

From that incident a bonding grew between us that never went. Now l won't say that me having a certain female called Gail as my sister had any influence with Tel ... you'll have to make up your own mind about that. ;-)

So, Lambretta was restored and normal service was resumed ... total failure at attracting females! After being constantly rejected and therefore feeling miserable with oneself you have to return to a female that loves and adores you ... mum! l turned up at mum's caravan in Withernsea every now and then to be regenerated. Also at this Withernsea caravan site quite often was my friend Peter. He had a younger sister called Mandy (?) and whilst at Peter's caravan she turned up with a friend. This friend totally blew me away and l fell head over heels in love with her at first sight. l'm not lying, l truly did. l couldn't get her out of my mind and did nothing but think about her. When she agreed to go out with me l simply could not believe it. The most stunning girl in the world and she was going out with me! All that wasted time and money at nightclubs etc and the girl of my dreams was in bloody Withernsea all along staying with my mates sister!

l was 18 at the time and it turned out she was only 15 but that didn't matter one bit to me ... l was in love and that was it. ln todays climate l'd probably be arrested for corrupting a child ;-) but hell ... l'd still do it if l was thrown back in time to them days. l couldn't have stopped myself anyway!

The girl's name? ... lris, my future wife and mother of Stephanie and Holly. Alas, 16 years later l was the prime architect in the destruction of my marriage but l can honestly say that the vast majority of those 16 years were the best years of my life. Especially so as the result was our girls Stephanie and Holly. Stephanie needed an interpreter when she was small and Holly fitted the bill ... l'm sure she could talk from birth. Until Holly was born Becky filled the gap admirably.

But l digress, after this period that l had fallen for lris a certain young man called Tel had done exactly the same as l had with lris. He had also fallen in love with a 15 year old girl and that girl was of course Gail ... future wife of Tel and mother of Becky and Katy.

ln our formative years as couples Iris and Steve Shepherd with Gail and Terry Baynes you could not have gotten a more close relationship between us all. We did so many things and l may write about it sometime. Added to us four were my nana, mum, dad, sisters Donna and Kerry and niece Dannielle ... oh and not forgetting Christine (adopted sister). Laughs and Fags!.... oh and the proverbial lan Moule whom must have come into this world cos dad had a bike! ;-) Brief interludes were filled by Adrian and Lee with Donna and Kerry respectively. Have to say brief because l've been on this planet for 55 years now and a few years does seem brief when knowing Tel for what? ... 37? 38? years. l'm not good at dates but not many men are! Girls always seem to know exactly ... right down to what they were wearing at the time!

Later ... Martin came along and is with Donna, then Dave with Becky and more recently Paul with Kerry, Tom with Holly, Steve with Stephanie, Carl with Dannielle and Katy is too damn secretive! ;-)

Iris is now married to Martin Cooper but still has contact, which is nice because the ties/bonds between lris and my sisters are very strong to say the least ... as it was with Tel.

And me? ... in a bloody mess as usual ... ah well.

Gail and Terry were together 35 years.

Sorry, can't write anymore. Have written through the whole night.
Bye Tel ... l miss ya!

edit ... l'm Pluto, Tel is Goofy. We wore these on the occassion of Boxing Day 2008. Seems we both had same idea ... after 30 years of originally buying them in Florida with Gail and Iris!


Anonymous said...

That was very sincere and touching.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

A wonderful post. And thanks for visiting my blog too. I had a Vespa, but really wanted a Lambretta. Not so long ago, I casually enquired about getting one and found that old restored ones cost more than any car I have ever bought!

Spartan said...

Thaks Ged, l really appreciate that as l do your writing.