Last week I shared how you never quite know with my dad. How he can be very funny but is also known for stepping over the line, frequently. Last week I ended the post with the news that we were being chased down a drive by a lady thanks to my dad’s love for walking where he shouldn’t….
“Don’t look behind you!” My dad barked. “Look straight ahead and perhaps we should pick-up the pace too”. My dad was now practically galloping down the drive as I broke into a jog to keep up.
“Why are we running?” I asked my dad, “And who is that lady?”
“Oh, she’s just the owner of that house. We are on her drive” He replied as cool as a cucumber.
The above isn’t the actual drive. They are similar though 😉
“Whaaaaaaaat” I shouted as I threw a quick glance over my shoulder to see that the lady was still very much chasing us, arms waving above her head.
“You better be joking” I muttered as I broke ahead of my dad to get off the drive. I didn’t know if he was having a laugh or if he was being serious. It’s impossible to tell with my dad and by now he was chuckling to himself. We made it off the drive and onto the road. I was now peeling ahead as I was so desperate to get away from the scene of the crime. However, the lady now seemed to have given-up and I assumed that my dad had been joking all along.
We turned a corner and walked past a field. I then became aware that we seemed to walking in a circle, to which my dad said
“yes, we are going to walk past the house again”.
“What! Are you mad? Do you have a death wish?”
This caused my dad to laugh some more. I’m glad he was having a jolly walk; I on the other hand had nearly pooped my pants through fear. Just as we rounded the corner, a car (a top of the range BMW) did a handbrake turn before coming to stop in front of us, blocking our path. Out stepped the lady from the jolly big house. She stood angrily glaring at us and she reminded me of Christine Hamilton. Perfectly coiffed blonde hair and expensive clothes. I didn’t need to hear her speak to know she was going to be frightfully posh. I was worried about how my dad would react though. She pointed a perfectly manicured talon at us,
“You were just on my driveway. Do you realise that is private property?”
I stood waiting for the earth to open up and swallow me. This could go one of two ways. Either my dad would become a complete and total arse because no-one tells my dad what to do. He once told his boss to
“take the wing mirrors of your car and shove it up your arse”
because the boss had dared to suggest to my dad that he pay for the clapped out car. Or my dad would be the perfect gent and go out of his way to charm her. The lady then interjected my thoughts with a
“Are you staying at the farm?” (The local B&B)
Oh-oh. I waited for my dad to explode. He is very proud to be Suffolk born and bred. We were standing on Suffolk soil, his turf, his kingdom and irrespective of whether it happens to be a private drive. I braced myself for him to rant. What I wasn’t expecting was for my dad to open his mouth and pretend that he too was landed gentry. I stood in shock as I listened to my dad trying to out posh her. I didn’t recognise the strange way he was speaking. Who was he trying to kid? I daren’t open my mouth for fear that my Essex twang would give the game away.
“Oh I am terribly sorry, it won’t happen again” my father drawled. And on and on they both drawled, both trying to out posh each other. Both elongating their vowels ooooooooooooon and oooooooooooon. It was becoming rather tiresome now. Both being terribly polite but also both being very passive aggressive. There was a lot of fake smiles, gritted teeth and hoorah henrying going on. I still stood in shock, silent. The lady from the jolly big house clearly thought I was a bit simple as my mouth was hanging agape and I hadn’t spoken once.
“You know”, the lady from the jolly big house pointedly said while looking at me, “we get all and sundry down our lovely private drive and some even let their children climb my trees”.
“Oh the horrors” my dad nodded in sympathy, before turning to me, “Emma, what have I told you about climbing the trees?!” To which he and the lady from the jolly big house laughed (or should that be brayed?) I was now starting to breathe a little sigh of relief. My father was now mostly being charming and the lady from the jolly big house hadn’t noticed the slight edge to his voice. She now thought my father was charming and they were having a lovely conversation. She was practically eating out of his hand.
“Anyway, we must go. I am so sorry again” my dad drawled. The lady from the jolly big house batted his apology away as if to say no need to apologise. My dad continued,
“I just wanted to show my daughter some of the Suffolk sights. She lives on…..Jersey, don’t you know”
And, just like that, my dad felt he had won the posh off. His face said – boom. Drop the mic. I win because I have a daughter who lives on Jersey, tax haven for the rich. Anyone that is a regular reader of my blog will realise that I’m not rich and I’m not posh. The lady from the jolly big house looked at me in surprise, I felt my skin flush beetroot red. I still couldn’t find my voice and instead croaked out a rather high-pitched posh “haaa, ha ha, ha”.
The lady now assured of our posh credentials, shook my dad’s hand and for an awful heart stopping moment I thought she was going to invite my dad round for afternoon tea. My dad did very well maintaining he was posh for ten minutes but keeping it up over afternoon tea is a whole different matter.
When we made it back home and told my mum what had happened she was visibly shocked, “ohhh you didn’t! It will be round the village by tomorrow” she muttered as she shook her head. “Don’t worry” my dad replied, “I’m going to walk that way tomorrow. She will be inviting me in for Tiffin next”.
The next day he did his walk past the jolly big house but he steered clear of the drive. However, I wouldn’t put it past him to walk down that drive again.
Just for sh*ts and giggles, you know.