The life and times of a family with a surprisingly large amount of well-known friends…
Tracey and Ben were worn out. Mum had had them clean the entire kitchen after their ‘toad in the hole’ disaster. They were still in big trouble, though, as they’d forgotten something… they’d cleaned everything but the grill.
French exchange student Juliette was socksually gauche and maladroit. That’s just my little joke. She was actually colourblind.
Try as he might, Dean could never tempt Max the dog away from Aïda’s side. He didn’t know about her secret saveloy stash.
We couldn’t believe how important it was to Marvin that he remain taller than Diana. He’d constantly be asking us for confirmation. He definitely went up on his toes in this picture.
The gentler of the Domingo twins, Martin (later known as ‘Placido’) was a demon sledger. Shortly after this picture was taken he set the new Marlon Winston Park distance record, which included leaping the stream. And all on a broken sledge.
Chris was hairy, right from the start. His dad had to start shaving him, aged 2. Oh, but he did love his wheelbarrow rides. And that tennis ball went everywhere with him. Everywhere. And still does, I believe.
Marc was the first person we ever met who drank cappuccinos. He set up a little shop in his front room and made them himself – this was before you could order them down the caff – and always, ALWAYS, wearing his special cappuccino topper. Yes, I guess you could call him a poser.
Mario was a friend of Mum’s. He worked in the printers on the local industrial estate. He did night-shift. They wouldn’t have him on the day-shift because no one could hear Radio 1 over his incessant humming.
Di was often to be found seeking out ingredients for her ritualistic offerings (see below) in the local supermarket – she had a particular penchant for frozen lasagne. She always wore her black protective glove before reaching into the freezer – something to do with ‘ice-ghosts’.
We were generally a pretty tight-knit family, but there were exceptions. Mum and Dad professed to know nothing about this lad, even though he lived with us, shared a bunk bed with Derek and, eventually, grew up to be a multimillionaire who bought a seventeen-bedroom manor house for Mum and Dad to live in.
To us he was always just ‘Boy A’.
La Ross (or ‘Lady Di’ as we’d call her behind her back) insisted on moving Gran’s armchair to face south whenever she visited. I never paid much attention to the relics and rituals she’d dabble with, but had to admit that it never rained whenever she was staying over.
Most weekends, ‘chelle used to come round to play cops and robbers. She was always the robber.
Labarbrador Streishound. Got her from Battersea Dogs Home. Took her back the following week, though. Terrible howling all the time.
Frankie said that our stairs were the only place he could ever really think clearly. Judging by his general life choices, I think he meant it literally.
Michael, in the back garden during that very snowy winter in ’63. He was a bit cross, because he’d come round to build a snowman with us but no-one was really interested. He made one on his own, which Elvis just scoffed at. “It’s bad, it’s bad. It’s really, really bad!”, the King guffawed.
Back in the 70s, Bowie often used to come round to watch Scooby-Doo with us… his folks didn’t have a colour TV at the time. He didn’t even bother to take off his coat – he didn’t want to miss a single second.
Hee hee! This was when we used to have ‘portrait duels’, to see who could take a picture from a standing start the quickest. Poor old Milo’s only just got the lens cap off! Look at his face!
A formal portrait taken at the funeral, in 1984, of Theophetericus Grant, known to everyone as ‘Peter’, who had died of a heart attack during a local production of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. ‘Peter’ had been playing the role of ‘Peter’.
Mongo always, but always, overdid the mayo when prepping a tuna/mayo sarnie. And woe betide you if you intimated as much. The man was mayo mad.
Our Rosie’s hubby David, ‘busting’ some, er, ‘moves’.
This is Steve. He used to come round after karate on Wednesdays. Miserable bloke, actually. He’d go up to Karen’s room and literally just stand there for God knows how long. She, of course, thought he was fascinating. Sure enough, she was preggers before the year was out.
Liberace was a powerhouse. Without fail, as a favour to Mum, he would do a stew on a Monday night to last the week. Never mind if, as here, he’d had to come straight from the Palladium – he never, NEVER let us down*. When we asked him why he cooked ‘sans’ trews, he’d always say, “Rachmaninoff with ‘em, honey!”; What a peach!
Karen, my first love.