I first met my Mother in law at a Toga party at Kirkdales, a pub I later went on to buy. She would always like a good natter, and was very quick to point out to me that in her day they were just referred to as 'parties', and that togas were just everyday wear. I have always felt that having a birth certificate engraved in marble, was quite a thing.
'Mummy Veronica' as she is known within the Kirkdales community, has always been a lively character. 'Vivacious Veronica' is a tag she oft likes to bestow on herself. In fact it was on hearing of her exploits on various Night buses on the way home from numerous Salsa clubs at 5.30am, that first sparked my interest in my wife, her daughter, Patricia. I figured that with those genes and those jeans, Trish would definitely be a party girl up for a wild time. Ten years of sitting indoors watching crap television on a Saturday night, has not entirely crushed those dreams. I like to live in hope.
They say Helen of Troy's beauty was such, that she started the Trojan War. She was 'The face that launched a 1000 ships'. Veronica was born in 1939 at the start of World War 2. 'The face that launched a 1000 kamikaze planes' does not have quite the same ring to it, and is definitely not mentioned in polite company.
Veronica is a keen church goer and an important member of that community. Seventy years of strict Catholic upbringing has taught her all the best ways to blaspheme. In fact her Salsa and Tango techniques are the Holy See's first weapon in his current fight to convert Anglicans to the Catholic way. Guilty pleasures indeed.
It is impossible to mention Veronica without referring to her children, who she has always taught to out-work, out-talk, and out-spell everybody else. Never have betterer lessons on the correct use and placement of apostrophe's been had. I consider myself learnt well. Her lesson of 'Never use one word if one hundred will suffice' is a family motto, and one they all hold dear to their hearts.
Three score and ten is a magnificent milestone to achieve, and has not been reached without a few red wine induced hic-ups. As Veronica herself would like to say, actually, I don't have room for that speech. So instead I say Congratualtions and Happy Birthday Oma.