Sunday, 8 January 2012

The anger and love of a father

I remember a day during the early 1950s when we lived in Clement Park. I was 8 or 9 years old at the time. My parents had bought me some rubber moulds with which I could make Plaster of Paris figurines. When the liquid plaster I poured into the moulds had solidified I could remove the moulds, paint the figurines with poster paints and when the paint was dry I would varnish over the paint to protect the figurines. My intention then was, as I recollect, to sell these rather tawdry ornaments to unsuspecting adult relatives for sixpence or a shilling.


After supper it was time for me to go to bed and I hugged my Mummy and said "Good night" to my Daddy, but so excited was I about my new money making project that instead of going up to my bedroom as I should have done, I went into the kitchen which had been my workshop earlier in the day and as quietly as I could I continued to manufacture figurines. Some time later my father decided he wanted a cup of Nescafe and he discovered me in the kitchen. As I remember it he became very angry and told me that I had been deceitful in not going to bed and that I had broken the trust he and my mother placed in me. I was in tears as he peremptorily sent me upstairs. I lay in bed crying. I had let down my Daddy. After about 10 minutes my Daddy  came into my bedroom. He didn’t put on the light but he sat on the bed beside his sobbing son and he said, ‘Charlie I’m really sorry I got angry with you. I was really proud of you making your ornaments today and I should have told you that. I’m sorry son.’ He left my bedroom.


My "Daddy", and then as I grew older he became my "Dad", justifiably got very angry with me on a number of occasions after that before the time came for me to leave home, but I have never forgotten that evening. 
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