The Auntie Doris Years: 1951


“And Jacob lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he looked at the stones of that place, and took one for his pillow, and lay down to sleep. And he dreamed, and beheld a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and he beheld the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”
My Father taught me to recite stuff like that when I was little. If I didn’t learn the verses he would nip me on the leg and make a bruise come up. It was from Genesis, in the Bible. That Jacob was crackers! A stone for a pillow? I’m surprised he got to sleep at all, never mind having funny dreams.
Any road, somehow, that stone ended up in Scotland. Don’t ask me how, it just did. And it stayed there an’all, until Edward sodding Longshanks pinched it in 1296 and took it to London. They always want the best things from up North in London, and they never want to pay for it properly. From that day forth all the English kings and queens had it under their chair when they were crowned.
But in late 1950 some students pinched it from London and took it back to Scotland, where it stayed until the following April when the English made them send it back. It’s in Scotland now though. Since 1996. But they had to promise to send it back if there’s another coronation.
If you have read this far, you can now tell how posh you are. Think about how you said “scone” in your mind when you read that little story. If you said “scone” to rhyme with “Joan” then you are posh. If you said “Scone” to rhyme with “John” then you are not. Never mind. As the tubby, Hull born politician John Prescott once said: “We’re all Middle Class now.” Which probably only proved that he had never bought a scone that rhymed with his name from Skelton’s Bakery on the Orchard Park Estate.
Funnily enough my friend Joan used to rhyme scone with the name of her husband John who pronounced it like his wife’s name. But they were that sort of a couple, always licking each other’s platters clean. The filthy so and sos.
The other big thing that happened in 1951 is that Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister again. I have never understood why. It’s not as if the Germans had elected Hitler again after all. He hardly covered himself with ruddy glory. Neither will that other famous no necked baldy, Phil Collins if he ever makes a comeback album. People like that should know when to call it a day. Any road, Churchill managed to start the great British tradition of National Health prescription charges, robbing from the needy, just like his latter day tax dodging lookalike. Hark at me, rabbiting on. It’s time to choose….
… auntie Doris’s Pop Hit of 1951: “Charmaine” by Mantovani and his Orchestra. What a glorious piece of music. It makes you want to kick your shoes off and wiggle your toes inside your tights. In fact I think I will go and do just that right now, and afterwards I shall let our Michael have his body back.

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