Monday, June 26, 2006

A bit of a do.

This weekend saw the Jests at a family gathering. It combined a significant birthday and a significant wedding anniversary, both falling within this year, for what Bertie Wooster would have termed "ancient relatives". They gathered family and friends around them for a celebratory lunch.

There was splendid food, (the quiche guarded with a fierce intesity by a waitress determined not to allow her largesse to any but card carrying veggies), lovely wine, fizz for the toasts (several, by the time you had covered the bride / groom / birthday / guest speaker etc...) and a general warm hum of happy conversation throughout proceedings (except during the speeches where even the children sat engaged by two racconteurs at the top of their game). Best of all the venue was the function room of a Village Cricket side, and there was a match on, so after the main event we got to sit and soak up some real olde english tradition-- and beer.

Furthermore the occasion has given yours truly another* very tentative claim to fame. Our eldest is learning to fly through school. One of the guests at our table got to hear of this and promptly said, "Here lad, shake my hand." He duly did, being an obliging sort. As he did so the guest (a gent well into his ninth decade) informed him thus, "You're shaking the hand of a man who has shaken the hand of a man who was shot down by Von Richthofen."

It transpires that our new friend was at a seaside resort some time in the late forties or early fifties and came across a man who was there with his wife. This man was rather frail and needed help in getting about on the front. Our friend had been happy to oblige, and the wife explained that her husband had not been quite his old self since he had been shot down by the Red Baron. He then, and we now, have no reason to doubt her veracity, so here I sit, the proud Dad of a lad who has shaken the hand .... as detailed above.

In some sense this gives us a vague tactile link with a significant historical figure and keeps the past alive in a curious way. Books tell you the nuts and bolts of history, but alongside this there persists a rich oral tradition which preserves the more mundane aspects of momentous events. And for a man with a picture of Albert Ball on his wall, that's good enough for me.

*One day, if you're very good, I might tell you all about my other claim to fame. (And yes it is a bit more concrete than shaking the hand of a man who.... )

11 comments:

steveg said...

That's a bit better than my claim to fame....

I once had a pee stood in the next urinal to Tom Jones! (no, ladies I did NOT look!).

I was at a company function at the Intercontineltal hotel in London and, well, had to go... And there he joined me to make my talking point.

:-)

steve

wendz said...

Steveg: ahem...that should be 'standing in the next urinal'..
*present continuous* ;-)...I thought all blokes surreptitiously checked out each others johnsons....hmmm...

btw - my claim to fame? I saw Princess Di drive past - right past me - in Argentina...sooo....top THAT! AND I saw Madonna in Harrods once...oooohhhh....

steveg said...

Mea Culpa - yes, it should have been standing - oh well you got the general gist of it.

NO WAY do we check each other out! We all have a desperate fear that we may be caught and thought to be a "Willy Watcher" (not a good thing - especially if the bloke next to you is bigger/physically stronger etc)

I also saw Princess Di drive past - well her convoy of chase cars and her limo did - but this was just outside Harrogate in North Yorkshire.

I have also been road raged by a soap star - Eric Pollard from Emmerdale - he called me a lot of names, mostly describing areas of female anatomy - silly man.

never seen madonna though... :-(

Steve

Mr Angry said...

There's nothing quite like a brush with celebrity.

I got called a "fucking imbecile" by someone involved with Childline who might have big teeth and be a retired female TV presenter.

I was also told to "Get orf my land" by Prince Phillip whilst mountain biking near windsor.

Come on Doc, we've shown you ours, now you show us yours....err, not in the way Steveg mentioned though. That would be weird.

wendz said...

Just a question Dr J...your youngest is literally learning to fly? Or is just learnng to do very well at school?

*confused*

wendz said...

sorry - your eldest...pffft - need to get glasses...clearly..

Doctor Jest said...

wendz-- steveg is right NONE of us do. It's one of the unwritten rules. On other matters yes literally to fly light aircraft. Happens he also did very well in the end of years too thank's for asking. *Exuding Fatherly Pride*

steveg-- [TJ] Huh! Think I'd better dance now...[/TJ]
I'll see your Lady Di and raise you Betty Windsor. She came to open the offices Dad worked at the day he was retiring. I got the gig as official family photographer and so have stood within 3m of HM. Dad always says it was very nice of her to turn out for him ;-)


Mr A-- see above. I've also been in the same room as Paul Simon (he was a really big recording artiste in the '60s and '70s in case you were wondering...). Oh, hold on, that was a concert, and the room was the NEC. Still did get within snapping distance of HM as I said. And that bit was true.

As for my real claim to fame, that will have to wait. You never know when I might need it....

wendz said...

Aah well - one lives and learns...so where does penis envy come from them, if you never know how big the other bloke's is?

Doctor Jest said...

wendz-- er, I'm not sure quite how to put this, but "Penis envy" is a Freudian concept aimed at explaining female psychological development. Apparently girlies are supposed to see their daddy's bits and wonder why they don't have the same.....

What can I say, the man had some interseting ideas.

And us blokes all know we are hugely endowed and have no need to have our delusions challenged.

wendz said...

Aha! I repeat - one lives and learns...but how poo - I never wanted a thingy and never thought about it either...ew...

Doctor Jest said...

wendz-- But now you'll have to won't you. See how clever the man was. Now he can drive you mad just by making you think hard about not thinking about it. Next stop Dr F and a lifetime in therapy.