Once or twice I noticed the smile that he has. It comes with a twinkle in his eye. But the twinkle is a real twinkle – a bit cheeky but it always really sparkled.
And, suddenly, it really really is him.
And, sometimes, I could hear it in his voice. If I had closed me eyes then, I could have transported myself back to those days.
I had picked them up at the airport. I was a bit worried I wouldn’t recognise them. And I was right to be worried. Their eldest daughter is 26 so we knew it was more than 26 years since I had seen them. And, 26 years is a long, long time.
I remember him as the same sort of build as me but taller. I knew he had no hair. T, his wife, had black hair.
So, I didn’t recognise them at all. He looked a little like my grandfather! They had both gained a “little weight”, she had blondish hair.
But later, over a meal, he did that thing with his smile and the twinkle thing and then, for a split second, it was him.
I could tell you all about the weekend but it would be slightly boring. Instead, he remembered things about me that I don’t remember. I was, in fact, a bit of a tearaway between the ages of 14 and 18 (and, possibly, beyond that.) He told me that he used to hang around me hoping that my “natural wit and charm” with the ladies would rub off on him – or that, by hanging out with me, he would attract the girls – apparently.
He would ferry me around to parties, etc. so that he would be included.
I don’t remember. He used to wait for me at my parents’ house whilst I “came back from somewhere” for us to go out. Apart from parties, our “going out” was mainly to pubs.
And, as I have said before, I never understood that I was good looking. But here is a photo that was taken in 1975. I am on the right, with the purple shirt.
And this is them at the top of the Duomo, this weekend.
I think you can agree, he’s changed a bit. They’ve changed a bit! Or not? But, then, there’s 40 years between the two photos!