Blood ties

November 24, 2015 at 8:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Parents like to regale guests with early tales of their offspring.

The one I heard most about me involved alcohol.

Apparently, I was around three.

Certainly not tall enough to see over the table on which a very cheap and nasty flagon stood.

This story was told so often that I don’t actually know if I remember the event or am merely parroting it.

But I seem to recall my parents and their friends debating whether I could stomach the rough claret they were ingesting.

Most thought not.

But my father felt I had potential.

And so a test was agreed.

Dad handed down a small beaker to me.

I tasted the red, gritty fluid, drank it down, paused, then proffered the vessel with the mortal imprecation, ‘More craret!’

There ensued much adult mirth – which echoed for decades.

Like ‘lellow’, ‘Megimite’ and ‘gagrass’, I was far from getting every word correct.

Today (amazingly, in retrospect) I’ve become rather good at it.

Claret is archaic for blood.

It certainly gets under your skin.

And if there’s drinking in your family (blood again)

there’s every chance

you’ll act


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  1. Blood ties, indeed. I’ve read your father’s fascinating autobiography . He undoubtedly liked a drink to celebrate the joys of existence. Somehow, then, it’s all in the family. My male throughline (father to grandfather to great grandfather) inculcated some deep behavioural patterns in me too, not all of which I’m thrilled about. Mais, hereditaire n’est pas destin, as my old French gaffer used to say.

    • Thank you, Ad. I deeply appreciate your readership, reflection and response. Kind regards, P.

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