Sunday, 1 January 2012

Polyfilla Police Car

Yesterday I was considering how my Dad was a genius. I pictured him padding around in his slippers, maybe smoking a cigarette – it was still permitted then – with his sleeves rolled up. He was always up to something – on a mission as the saying is.

One project sticks like polyfilla to the cracked and porous surface of my memory. Using an empty polyfilla container to house a battery and some complicated looking electrical bits, he somehow managed to wire up the front door bell so that it sounded like a police car siren. This was when police cars had a simple two-tone dee-dah noise and quiet England hadn’t been invaded by the Starsky & Hutch whooping there’s been a murder/there’s been a drugs bust sound that’s now so common-place in villages up and down the land we barely notice it.

I don’t know how many years that doorbell lasted but it provided a pleasant diversion/conversation topic whenever someone came to the door.

The odd thing now is that I realise that my Dad was younger than I am now when he created his amazing Dixon of Dock Green doorbell. It’s a strange thing, isn’t it? Remembering what your parents were about when they were younger than you?

In those days he had jet black hair like an Italian. He came to see me today and I pondered the fact that his hair is now very white and getting thin in places. We talked about the old days when Grandad was still alive. This always gets a laugh. In fact, I had to wipe away a tear.

Neither of us finds conversation easy. But had there been a lull the polyfilla police car was ready to come rushing in and break the silence forty years on down the road.

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