It was a snowy December night in 1985. My husband was teaching at that time and to celebrate the end of term he and his colleagues had all gone out drinking at a pub near their school in Erdington. The teachers were hard drinkers and I generally dreaded the ends of terms because they would all get pissed as farts and behave like juveniles and get into trouble. On this occasion my dearest still hadn`t come home by midnight, the kids were tucked up in bed and so I also went to bed and fell asleep.
At about two in the morning I was woken up by a loud hammering on the front door. I got out of my warm bed to look through the window and outside I saw a parked up taxi and my hubby standing in a snow storm with only a shirt on so God knows what had happened to his coat. He was swaying unsteadily and looking up he called out to me in a slurred voice, “I haven`t got any money to pay the driver and I haven`t got my keys….” He turned his pockets inside out as if to prove it. I was quite annoyed but weighing up the situation I also realised that I would have to go downstairs, sort out the taxi fare and let my wayward partner in. Unfortunately while I was doing this, my husband decided that it was a great idea to keep banging on the window by the front door, so he carried on hitting the window until he stressed the glass so much his hand went right through it slicing his finger on the way. His actions had also left a sizeable hole in the glass through which the winter weather was now entering my house.
By the time I reached the front room it looked like I had my own personal blizzard in there, the snow was settling nicely on the settee, the temperature had plummeted to below freezing and there was already enough blood spattered on the broken window and my (beige) carpet to make the room resemble a still from a Quentin Tarantino movie.
Pulling my husband inside, I paid the taxi driver then closing the front door, I went back into the snowy sitting room to examine his bloodied hand and see the extent of the damage, it wasn`t too bad. At this point my brother`s daughter Claire woke up. She was about ten at that time and often slept over at our house. She suddenly appeared, sleepy eyed and wondering what on earth was going on. Spotting the blood on the floor (which wasn`t hard to do,) she came over to look, “Ooooh uncle Tony!” she exclaimed, “what have you done?”
Now my brother Martin, Claire`s dad, has an abhorrence of blood. The sight of blood makes his legs go wobbly and then he faints. On this snowy night it became obvious to me very rapidly that his daughter had inherited this emotion since on examining Tony`s sliced up hand she went as white as a sheet and then puked all over the floor.
I was ever so happy.
Sending Claire back to bed and instructing hubby to do the same, I cleaned up the sick, cleaned up the blood and placing a piece of cardboard over the broken window as a temporary measure, I went back to bed myself.
Looking back on those times I think, happy days, happy, happy days………..