We have just come back from a lovely Sunday lunch date out with Rockseys parents. Although now Mr Rocksey, my dad in law is 80 in May and Mrs Rocksey a sprightly 77 years old they still love to tell a good story-especially if it involves a very young Rocksey!!
Rockseys mom and dad were the epitome of cool in the 1960’s. I love looking at photographs of them looking like something from the Austin Powers movies and Mrs Rockseys tales of ‘ the London Scene’ and Carnaby Street, chance meetings with rockstars of the day and her love story with Mr Rocksey.
One of my favourite stories which involves a young Rocksey is the yearly family holiday to a farm in Cornwall where Rocksey (apparently) would get up at the crack of dawn to help the farmer milk the cows, feed chickens and generally spend all day having small boy adventures whilst Mr Rocksey spent his day fishing and Mrs Rocksey would sit in a sun lounger topping up her tan and on return home regale their friends with tales about their wild times in St Tropez partying with rockstars on yachts in the Med!!! ( I think she probably got found out in the end but by that time they had already started to holiday in Europe)!.
Holidays in Spain in the 1960’s was the pinnacle of foreign travel for those who could afford the 39 Guinea price tag. Whilst my sister and I were holidaying one week a year at Butlins packed in the back of a Morris Minor the top speed of which was about 45 miles an hour ( and my first foreign holiday was not until I was 18!) Rocksey was staring excitedly out of the window of a plane in Gatwick (a once small provincial airport) on his way to LLoret De Mar in the Costa Blanca.
At lunch today, Mr Rocksey regaled us with a tale of this very holiday and not one which I had heard before. They had arrived very excitedly for their weeks holiday in Spain not quite sure what to expect as this was the first time for all of them ‘abroad’. It was very hot, Mrs Rocksey recalled, there was no air conditioning so of course we had to keep the windows open. Rocksey remembered the window opened into the courtyard of the hotel where the staff took their meals and the smell of olive oil would waft up every evening. Mr Rocksey claims that even today, he can still smell olive oil when he thinks about Spain.
Anyway their first evening they happen to stroll into the hotel bar after a walk along the seafront. There are a few other couples of similar ages all having a simply lovely time. What are you drinking? Mr Rocksey sees large bottles on the table. Champagne mate, a man from Manchester waves a bottle at him it’s 2’6 a bottle- it’s bloody lovely stuff. Rockseys mom and dad think this is a good price and it looks like Babysham so they order a bottle and sit down with the others introducing themselves. It’s so hot, both inside and out, the champagne is ice cold, tastes divine and goes down a treat – tasted like lemonade- Mr Rocksey recalls.
Fast forward a couple of hours, the bar has been drunk dry of champagne, the English contingent are having a sing song which turns a bit raucous, the Spanish staff try to calm things down, words are exchanged and the bloke from Manchester throws a punch at a bloke from Barcelona, a fight breaks out and the Police arrive. Mrs Rocksey leaves the bar in a hurry with Rocksey ( he is only 8 years old after all !!) but Mr Rocksey is nowhere to be seen.
The next morning, Mrs Rocksey wakes up with a very sore head but still no sigh of Mr Rocksey. Slightly worried , she and Rocksey go down to breakfast. Mum, mum , mum, little Rocksey pulls at Mrs Rockseys arm, – look dads already by the pool!! Mr Rocksey is fast asleep – in yesterday’s clothes – on a sunlounger. Mrs R is not impressed, grabbing a jug of iced water from the buffet table she stomps over to the sunlounger and tips the whole jug of water over Mr R’s head. A loud screech ensues as Mr Rocksey jumps up awakened from his slumber not actually quite knowing where he is or even who he is ( for anyone reading this who has not had a champagne hangover- this is normal), he staggers about cursing before (as if in slow motion), falling head first into the pool. After what seems like a lifetime, he bursts up through the water, coughing and spluttering and hauls himself out to lie motionless again by the side of the pool. Rocksey thinks his dad is dead and runs around screaming. Mrs R is mortified by her husband showing her up in front of the now packed dining room and pool area and stomps off to lie down in the shade.
Hours later, Mr R has finally sobered up, even a glass of lemonade made me drunk again he reminisced and the headache lasted nearly all week , spends the day chomping aspirin and staying out of Mrs R’s way. Turns out, whilst drinking the champagne he kept thinking that he wasn’t drunk, wasn’t feeling drunk and , sitting down , hadn’t realised that he, after a couple of bottles, had completely lost the use of his legs. By the time the fight broke out, on seeing Mrs R and Little Rocksey safely leaving the bar, Mr R tried to follow them. I got up- he recalled, or thought I had, but my legs wouldn’t work and all I actually managed to do was slither off the chair and under the table. After the Police left after some threatening the bloke from Manchester with a night in the cells unless he went straight to bed, Mr R crawled out of the bar, but not being able to remember the room number ( or even his own name at this point in the proceedings), he found a sunlounger and fell into a deep drunken sleep, woken abruptly by the torrent of ice cold water thrown over him by his wife a few hours lat
The remainder of the holiday passes without further disruption, the family spend time together, enjoying the Spanish sunshine. Mr R does not drink champagne again and doesn’t see the bloke from Manchester auntil they are safely back at the airport. Mrs R goes home with a straw donkey and a tan to die for and Rocksey has ( unbeknown to him at this time) a love of Spain that will last him a lifetime.
Now I am sure that Mr R is not the first nor the last person to have a (now) funny story with regard to an evening drinking champagne or indeed a night lost on champagne………..I would like to hear your story!!!