Wednesday, 6 December 2006


My father had a wickedly dry sense of humour. Though he has been dead for over four decades I still remember him fondly, and relish some of his more memorable sayings.

As a small boy confronted with a pompous grown-up he remarked “You do know a lot of ignorance!” [This, I sometimes think, could well be said to some of the more voluble posters on CiF and elsewhere.]

Only a few days before he died, my father said to me “Don’t worry. Your mother will make a splendid widow.” She did, bless her, for more than twenty years.

When he came to London on business, my father’s company used to book him in at a West End hotel. On one occasion, when his usual choice was full, they arranged a room for him at a more prestigious Park Lane establishment. After spending the night there, my father was confronted with a bill which he thought excessive. “This has cost more than I expected”, he remarked to the receptionist. “Oh, but Sir”, was the response, “it is a very superior room. Gina Lollobrigida stayed in it last week!”

“It would still be expensive”, my father retorted firmly, “if she was still there”.

I sometimes wonder what tales he would have had to tell if she had been.

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