End of story

Share
WHEN MUM died five years ago, Sid, my old man, punted the flat in north London and went to live in the apartment in Marbella. El Cid we call him now. Just turned 70, he's still as strong as a goat; and although he missed Mum for a while, he's back to his old ebullient self. A bit too ebullient, if you ask me. All right in small doses; but you wouldn't want to share a small tent with him for any length of time.

I go down there about once a month and we have a few drinks, go to Little- Eyed Dave's restaurant, El Rabioso, have a few more drinks, take in a club or two, try to pull a couple of birds, that kind of thing.

"Son, I've 'ad more birds than you've 'ad 'ot dinners," Dad says to me when we're on the subject.

"You're just a romantic fool," I tell him.

But it's true; he's always been able to pull a bird just like that. Once voted ugliest man in Walthamstow market, he has always been noted as a ladies' man. And he's still pulling them - even at his age.

Since he's been in Marbella he's set himself up, of all things, as a "connoisseur", as he puts it, of locally produced art. Some of the most unbelievable tripe ever passed off as art on the Costa Del Sol can be found framed and hanging on the walls of Dad's flat. He specialises in it.

"Oh, I wish I could paint," he says to me as he shows off his latest acquisition. "I'd give my right arm to be able to paint."

The last time I was down there, he told me he'd been having a passionate affair with this Spanish bird he'd met at an art gallery. Veronica. Sixty- two. Likes being tied up, according to Sid.

A few weeks ago she moved in with him. First thing she did was make Sid get rid of Rosy, the live-in Venezuelan cleaner, but two days later they had a row about Sid's drinking and Veronica stormed out.

The night she left, Sid had a few more drinks, then drove over to El Rabioso, which is in Torremolinos, for a bite to eat. On the way there he clipped a cyclist and then drove for 10 miles with his air bag inflated without noticing anything amiss. They arrested him in Little-Eyed's car park. Dad says he's eased up on the sauce a bit since then. At least, that's what he's been telling Veronica, who agreed to come round to the flat, meet me, and then the three of us were going to go out for a meal somewhere. A sort of rapprochement cum meet-the-family type of thing, I suppose.

In spite of what Dad told Veronica about not drinking, he and I got pretty stoked up on his Chivas Regal while we got ourselves ready to go out. Dad chose his favourite "Prince of Charles check" suit, black shirt and red cravat. I wore my new West Ham away replica shirt with the Dr Marten's sponsorship logo. When we were booted and suited and waiting for Veronica to arrive, we sat in the sitting-room and watched the bullfight on the telly. The bull was losing badly when the doorbell rang.

"You answer it, son," said Dad.

You never quite know what you're going to be confronted with when you answer the door to Dad's latest charmer. In my time I've seen everything on the doorstep from gorgeous sun-kissed babes to Hermann Goering lookalikes. But Veronica was top drawer.

"There can be no exquisite beauty," said Bacon, "without some strangeness in the proportions." I wouldn't say Veronica was an exquisite beauty, but the way she was built you could see what Bacon had been driving at. Fit, tanned, good barnet, all the bits and bobs, short skirt, plenty of gold: a tad brassy for some maybe, but definitely one of El Sid's better ones.

"Buenas noches," she said offering me a tawny hand, palm downwards.

"I'm Sid's boy," I said, extending mine to meet it.

"Do you want to powder your arse before we go, doll?" yelled Dad from the sitting-room.

"No ... gracias," said Veronica, fixing her black eyes on mine and retaining my hand.

I could be in here, I thought.

And I was, too.

"You keep your 'ands orf," said Dad, who was never short of what I believe they now call "emotional intelligence", as we trooped downstairs to the car. Fortunately the only things Dad reads these days are menus.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Software Engineer - C#, VB.Net, ASP.Net - Kingston, Sur

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior Software Engineer - C#, VB.N...

General Cover Teacher

£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: The Job:SECONDARY teachers need...

Behaviour Support Work

£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Behaviour Support WorkerThe JobTo...

English Teacher, Aylesford School

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is working in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

There's nothing wrong with 'sexting' - everyone has done it

Natasha Devon
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer  

David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands

Liam Turbett
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker