|Vic, Edna and Grannie at the Constitutional club, |
an organisation that ruined many constitutions
He wrote me a jolly reply saying he didn't mind. Which was sporting given that, then and thereafter, he was never entirely sure about my means of support. Didn't think journalism was "a real job". Since Vic was a chef and wore a toque in the kitchen, his employment was never in doubt.
Obviously I was not the sort of son-in-law Vic and his wife Ed expected, especially since an earlier contender was entitled to wear a sword on certain occasions. But I was tolerated and, as the years rolled by, my in-laws’ generosity was unstinting.
VR's Grannie, however, genuinely approved of me because of my regional accent. Born in the Midlands, she had one too.
Just recently I heard a new Grannie anecdote. She came to London to meet VR, then a State Registered Nurse, and asked to walk round London's naughty bit, Soho, to see if the Ladies of the Night existed. Pure curiosity. Not only was it true but several LotNs addressed VR as "Nurse" since her work at Charing Cross Hospital, near Soho, involved patching up said ladies.
In the late fifties, the UK was famed for hypocrisy, with Profumo only a year or two away. I liked Grannie, knew something of her hard life, and feel sure her interest was neither prurient nor hypocritical. But I wish VR had told me earlier so I could have teased Grannie. She was up for being teased and teasing back.