I used to love my brother but I quickly learned that he could never be trusted.
This is all down to his lack of scruples, his insane vanity, his complete self indulgence and his self centredness; deep down, nothing matters but Martin, not even his children or wife.
Quite frankly, although it is a well used cliche, a leopard never changes its spots; what is within a person stays with them forever.
Martin has always been a social animal and although some of his friends have been infinitely more successful than him, he has kept up the pretense of success, by adding to his income, so called “gifts” from his father, which have amounted to probably a couple of million.
The trouble is that he has an immense ego that prevents him from being what he truly is; every “purchase” has to be flash. Take his 50th, when he hired the whole of the Roman Baths in Bath, with a disco, fine wines and the rest. It must have cost him tens of thousands of pounds. He doesn’t like spending such money but was forced to do so by his ego to impress his friends; I was never invited and we were supposed to be on good terms then, but not now.
Do not get me wrong, he can talk the hind legs off a donkey and is a great salesman but I saw a chink in his armour at Mum’s funeral, when he gave his eulogy and nearly started to cry but took a big sniff and carried on; few noticed but I did.
He has always but always looked out for the next opportunity, even when things seemed to be going well for him.
I remember, decades ago, when he was with a girl called Alison Woodruff, who cried every time John Lennon’s “Imagine” was played and rushed out of the room. Even though she was a sweet and very pretty girl, he was always on the lookout for the next conquest.
Then he met Jo White, a blonde bombshell. He then promptly went off to Lancaster University and drank himself into oblivion, much to my father’s disgust. Then, in his second year, he moved into lodgings in Morecambe with a group of friends, including a girl called Elaine.
Yes, it was wrong but I looked in his diary and read that he was bonking her, with gorrid details. I thought to myself that he was an absolute hypocrite.
In the holidays, he would come back and start up with Jo White again, who, as far as I know, had “saved” herself for him.
One time, when Jo was visiting Martin at home, she came down into the dining room, where I liked to be and leaned over and kissed me; it all started from there.
Jo and I were due to go to a party but she arrived early so we went down to a pub. I chose the Railway Inn because Martin always liked the Red Lion but bugger me, he was in there and something snapped.
We went to the party and I was really offish with Jo. She asked me why and I said that I was breaking up with her. To say that I was unpopular with her friends was an understatement.
I went home and found Martin in the lounge. I said to him that I had broken up with Jo because nothing should come between brothers and I said that provided he solemnly agreed, neither of us would go out with her again. He agreed to that and I went to bed, knowing that I had done the right thing.
Not two weeks had elapsed and he was going out with Jo again whilst bonking Elaine up in Lancaster. That started to be the end of my relationship with Martin and we drew farther apart.
We had both worked at Dad’s old company, General Guarantee Corporation and through her sister who worked there, he met Maria, Italian and stunning. They went out and moved in with each other in a flat that Martin had bought in Mulgrave Road.
They seemed well suited but cracks started to develop. I knew Maria’s sister, Tina, through work and she told me that Martin had promised to get engaged to Maria a number of times but he had always backed out at the last minute but Maria hung in there because she loved Martin, more fool her.
Then we all went to Disney World and it became known that Martin was going to propose to Maria and you could see how excited she was. But, it never came, he never proposed and when we got home, she refused a lift and went home on the train.
This was just a clear example of his lack of moral fibre.
Yes, he married Ali, yes, they had two children but their marriage nearly broke down. What stopped Martin from walking away? Because he could not bear the financial loss that would be incurred if he divorced Ali. It was for that reason and that reason only.
And who knows, he may be seeking solace somewhere else and committing adultery. Given his past history, it would not surprise me one bit.