…an Uncle Knobhead. Every family has one and mine is called Uncle Allan.
He is my Dad’s big Brother and will shortly be approaching 79. He lives in Canada and is a “professional Geordie”, having a stronger accent post- emigration than he did back in Newcastle.
He is as unlike my Dad ever was as anyone could ever be; a womaniser, a hard drinker, a gambler, a waster. He was a hard worker at work, but only when he turned up. He is tall but my Dad was short. He did share one character trait, he was a very generous man. He used to turn up at our house when I was a kid with a present for me, then scrounge the money off my Mum. He used to tell me to “keep watching the post” and my trusting innocence would gradually ebb away as the days passed.
I didn’t really see him again after he emigrated in the early 70s although he did come and visit me in 1983 at my first owned house in Maidenhead, where he demonstrated his ignorance of house prices. (“You paid £30,000? You wuz robbed!”)
Having a couple of stints in Canada in the mid-80s, I visited him whilst I was over and he came to visit me. I was really geared up to visiting my Auntie Brenda (Allan’s sister) but couldn’t have really done one without the other. Allan lived (and still lives) in a rented apartment and is a confirmed bachelor in his habits. (He did marry an old flame late in life who he met again in Canada but sadly she developed a wasting disease and died a few years ago). His home is a homage to old fashioned furniture, he has mothballs in his clothes drawers and Old Spice splashed all over. (I have previously blogged about his taste in furniture)
Every few years he comes over to the UK and does a grand tour of people he knows. The trouble is that he has a bachelor’s attitude that the world revolves around him so our specific warning of imminent arrival is generally the evening before. He is a railway bore, a Freemasonry Bore, strongly opinionated on everything and refers to foreigners as “Coolies” so his company gets tiresome rather quickly. He often brings David presents, but railway related, so they aren’t really appreciated.
Having said that, he loves David, takes us for a meal when he stays and we reminisce about the litle we have in common. He is living on borrowed time health-wise and there will come a time when he can’t travel any more. We’ve just seen him off on the train back up to Newcastle and there is a fair chance that we might not see him again. He might be my Uncle Knobhead, but he’s family and thats what counts.
Uncle Knobhead is the invention of Bolton Comedian Peter Kay who appears to be on myspace.
Update- I can’t believe I spelt his name wrong- it is Allan, not Allen. I only realised this when I got a Christmas card from him & saw the return address sticker on the envelope. I do know an Allen Gray though, in mitigation.