Balham, London, 1961. I was twenty and my fiancé eighteen when we decided to get married. London was my fiancé’s home town. Being young and in love we discounted obstacles, the first being my girlfriend’s mother, who was not impressed by the idea. Not only was I from a northern tribe with a Liverpool accent, I was a labourer. We never did become pals but we learned to tolerate each other.
You’ve wanted to paint for years – but always filed it away as a nice thought, one that can wait until say… you were older? Until you realise you’re already there. And once you’ve declared your interest in the craft to an old friend over coffee, you’ve already painted yourself into a corner, because friends being friends, listen.
My brother, an Australian citizen, was once a strong trade unionist and Labour supporter.
When he retired he maintained his interest in politics and trade unions. In earlier days on the building sites he worked on, he rubbed shoulders with some of the young men who would later lead his union and other unions and eventually become public figures.