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The Island Of Serenity
Our day clothes were bought from reputable, but relatively inexpensive stores, our food was ordered from the local supermarket and our pocket money was no more than the other kids of our age, living in the same village. (In fact, I later learned that many received even more than we did). When we would ask for a special toy or plaything or clothing; mother would often complain that she didn’t have enough spare money that month and that we would have to wait until she had, unless we would wish to use some of our own pocket money or savings to pay for it ourselves.
It was only when I reached teenage years that I realised that she could decide, at any given moment, that some event that she was invited to, would need a new outfit, and in that case, money was always available, and not in short order either. Mother, of course didn’t see herself as mean, only that money was not to be wasted, (that meant on things that I or my brother might wish for), but was to be saved so that it could be used for important things, which meant to say, impressing people. My father was not at all interested in how my mother saw fit to dispense with the money that he gave her, just as long as the house was clean, well stocked with food that he liked, and that they never might run out of that most essential Scottish commodity, good whiskey. For you see, my father liked a tipple from time to time. Over the years; that ‘time to time’ became less and less separated, until it became unusual not to see him with a large, diamond cut, whiskey glass in his hand and the smell of a single highland malt on his increasingly labouring breath. Before I was born, my father had already sold off two of the factories that he had acquired before meeting my mother. He had then re-invested the benefits to buy out two competing building companies, which he merged into one mega concern; hence, tactically sawing up all the major building contracts over three counties, for the foreseeable future, all in one elegant manoeuvre. However, the company from which he had started his mini empire, ‘New Chapel Engineering’, was never to be sold. He had worked his way up from nothing, to becoming the owner of this smallish factory. He knew every nook and cranny of it, and almost every one of the workforce by name. The year before I was born, the old manor house, once owned by the Earls of Drayford, until the last of the line died at 26, from an incurable case of syphilis, came onto the market; my father didn’t hesitate even for one moment, before snapping it up. It was the perfect object for both my parents to show off that they had reached their goals of returning to their rightful levels, from which their ancestors had fallen.