So where were we up to about me?
Ah yes, family story number two: what a ‘difficult’ baby I was – apparently my behaviour had far-reaching consequences for one of my father’s friends.
This friend was, as I ‘remember’ it, a lovely bear-like man; he used to come round to study with my Dad, who as you may recall, was doing a degree in Medicine at Liverpool University. The story is though, that he mostly ended up cuddling me, to stop me screaming, so my Dad could study – Mum having, presumably, given up on me.
So as a result Charlie failed his exams. It turned out fine though because, as a result, he met and married a very wealthy woman. Somehow I got the credit for that, which as you can imagine, I badly needed.
Telling my story now gets tricky: you see I’ve written a short story based on the next part of my life and I no longer care to tease out fact from fiction.
The story came about because I heard Osho say that although the biblical story of original sin and the expulsion from the garden isn’t literally true, it is a great insight into human psychology.The idea being that we all start off in paradise but around the age of three or four we expel ourselves from that happy state – and by an act of choice. We ‘sell out’ in the face of our own powerlessness before the adults in our world.
I decided to examine my own life to see if it was true about me and the short story, And So it Was, is about what I discovered.
And now I am going to let you in on the secret of why I am a monarchist.
You remember how Princess Elizabeth, as she was then, visited Liverpool the year I was born, to say “Hi!” and check it out – I told you about it in Chapter 2 – you’re not going to believe this – but two months before we arrived in Australia – exactly a fortnight before my family left Tilbury docks on the SS Otranto – that very same lovely woman, now Queen Elizabeth, was doing an extensive tour of Australia just to make sure everything was in order in time for our arrival. It’s hard to believe that she would go to so much trouble for us, but she did. That family connection through Charlemagne, distant though it is still meant something.
Here is a photo of the ship we came on, it was also the one that Spike Milligan and his troops sailed on to Tangiers, to help secure Hitler’s downfall. Renovation of the captain’s cabin was complete by the time of our journey as there was definitely no-one sleeping in the life-boats Of course it had been well and truly tarted-up for our journey with a swimming pool and every imaginable luxury to make the journey just so, which it was.