|Johnny (Goldfinger) Palmer|
My dad, Uncle A and John Palmer were sons of three sisters (there were loads of other kids too of course). As I say, I was just a little kid and never met him, although I believe my older brother did meet him a few times. In any case, he and my Uncle A are dead ringers for each other. I never knew an awful lot about the Brinks-Mat robbery but I was told that Uncle Johnny subsequently moved into the time-share business in Spain, where people were often strong-armed into buying time-shares that I'm not sure even existed. Mom told me that "all of a sudden" Uncle A started taking short trips to Spain and seemed to have an awful lot of money to throw around when he came back. Now this was in the 1970s and no-one went to Spain for a long weekend - well no-one, that is, except for Uncle A. Dad reckoned he was carrying cash over to John Palmer, although he never had any proof of that. It just didn't make sense to him, since Uncle A had a fish stall in Birmingham's Bull Ring market and even if they made good money there was no way he was all of a sudden making the kind of money he was throwing around. Dad reckoned the stress of whatever shinanigans he got up to eventually killed him because one day, at the age of just 54, Uncle A left his stall to go get a newspaper, had a massive heart attack and died on the spot! Whenever I would give my older brother some lip he would say "watch out, or I'll tell Uncle Johnny!" and that was enough to make me shut up. Yeah, as if! My dad barely knew him, he just knew they were distant relatives on their mothers' side, so my brother was truly a rotten sod scaring a little girl half out of her wits with threats of "Uncle Johnny". So there you have it, my one and only claim to dubious fame!
I do remember being a really little girl - hadn't started school yet, so maybe three years old - and my mom left me with Aunt S, Uncle A's wife, so that she could go grocery shopping in peace. Anyway I remember asking Aunt S if I could just pop over the road to see if my mom was back and she said yes. Well mom wasn't back so I decided to walk to the shops (about two miles away I would guess) to see where she was. All I remember is balling my eyes out in the middle of the shopping precinct and my mom coming over wondering how in the hell I had got there! It didn't mean anything to me of course but I reckon there must have been a few frosty exchanges with my Aunt S when we got back!
In other news, I didn't make it out to Excenevex today because, as I thought, I was just too slow off the mark this morning, but at least it gives me an idea of somewhere to go sometime before the schools are out to enjoy the lake for a while. I did get my grocery shopping done (but boy am I spending a lot at the moment). I also went to the Chinese store as I needed some black bean/garlic sauce - and man do I love going to that store. I just love the smell of it. It's like having a souk right on my doorstep with the wonderful smells of all those spices. Now these people are very good businessmen and sell not only Asian goods but also African and Middle Eastern spices - well basically if you ask for it they'll find it and sell it to you. I also like that if you are buying heavy stuff they will always have a young man carry it out to your car for you. It's like that with the Turkish stall holders I often go to also. When we were five living at home I used to buy a lot of fresh produce and they would always have one of the young boys carry my stuff to my car for me. And for me, that kind of service goes a long way, I can tell you!
I also managed to make a dentist and gynae appointment for the month of July. When I was booking the gynae appointment the receptionist said I was to "come alone and wear a mask" - which kinda got my warped sense of humour going because surely that's not the bit he'll be sticking his nose in - but I managed to keep myself from saying that as not everyone gets my sense of humour!
Anyway it's hot here and I'm wilting. I know I'm going to be miserable for the next couple of months - in fact it's only going to get worse as summer is only just starting! I just love that point in September when you can actually feel the heat break and know that things will get cooler from here on in. I pity the poor folks that have to work outside in this weather but I guess they manage or they're used to it. I know one thing though, I'll never be a hot weather person!
|The farmer turning hay in the part of his field at the back of my house!|