In 1972 we moved to our new home, a 3-bedroom house on a new housing estate (new sub-division). It was so nice to be the first tenants in a new home!
With the children growing; our new home; my job was working out quite well; our lives, and our relationship, achieved an acceptable level of stability.
Photos below show Simon and Melanie grasping the concept of a “piggy-back”.
One of my sisters–in law (I had 3) was living in Canada with an aunt and uncle, and met her future husband (I’ll call him B) there. B was originally from Israel, and they decided to go and live in Israel. Part of their plans included a short stop in England, which gave us an opportunity to meet him. He was an interesting character (I really liked him) with a very open view on life in general. He had completed his military service obligations in Israel (which included active duty) which probably gave him his laissez-faire approach to everything. He was very much a “live for today and worry about tomorrow when it comes” person!
The idea of living in Israel wore thin (for my sister-in-law) quite fast due to totally different cultural habits, with the end result that they decided to relocate back in England. After she had settled back into an English lifestyle (and after B had got himself a job at Perkins Diesel* where I started!), we had a knock on the door one evening. Standing there was my sister-in-law and B. Therein followed an interesting and memorable conversation between him and I:
B: “Colin… can you paint?”
C: “What do you mean paint? Pictures? Houses?”
B: “I mean walls”
C: “Yes I can paint walls.”
B: How easy is it? Can you teach me?”
C: “I guess so, but why?”
B: “We have a contract!”
C: “WE have a contract?”
B: “Yes, you and me. We have a contract to paint a synagogue.”
C: “What synagogue? I’ve never painted a synagogue before”
B: “Yes but we have a contract.”
C: “How did WE get this contract?”
B: “I was at the synagogue when they opened quotes to paint it. When they had got the lowest price, I said that I could do it for a lot less, so they gave me the contract. I thought that you would show me how to do it, and help me with it, and we could make some money!”
C: “How big is this synagogue, and how much paint do we have to buy?”
B: “I’ll take you to the synagogue so you can see it. I don’t know how much paint it will take, but I’m sure we can make some money from it!”
Having had no commercial experience of painting, and after looking around the synagogue, some wild guesses at paint required did suggest that we could perhaps make a little money. The main part of the synagogue however, had a very high ceiling, and we had no equipment.
C: “How are we going to paint that ceiling?”
B: “We get a ladder”
C: “From where? I don’t own a ladder.”
B: “The synagogue has one. We’ll use that one.”
To be continued…
*See Dear Diary – Page 61