My earliest memory of my Dad was at Christmas, as Martin and I were presented with a Christmas house filled with presents. I do not know if he built it or bought it but given my father’s aversion to all things practical, I suspect that he bought it but it was lovely nevertheless.
My father worked all hours and I rarely saw him, even on Saturdays and so I asked him if I could come to work with him and I played Solitaire on his boardroom table whilst he worked but I had to keep quiet in fear of him having a go at me.
My next real memory was when I was 13 and he recognised my abilities. He said “David, it is time that you come to work for me”. So, at 13, he took me to work and his secretary, Win Boden got my sandwiches for me and I ate them in her office.
In those days, we had no air conditioning but regardless of the temperature all men had to wear jackets and ties. I literally fried but the lovely ladies who I worked with took me under their wing, as they felt sorry for me. Why should a young child have to abide by the same rule as the adult men? I have to say that it was pretty brutal.
I even remember my first “pay packet”. It was a bundle of notes shoved into my hand by someone in personnel. I spent little of it and put most, if not all, in my post office savings account.
I carried on working for my father for many years but when it came to my exams, I had to study at home.
It should be noted that my so called brother never made any appearance as he was allowed to do whatever he wanted, which mostly included bonking the next pretty thing on legs.
Win Boden took me home many times as my father worked very late but on one rare occasion when I was due to go home with him, I knocked on his office door and, with no answer, I walked into his office.
At that time, I was so very proud of my father and what does a little boy want to do most? Sit in his daddy’s chair. So, I sat down behind my father’s big desk.
All of a sudden, he returned to the office with some colleagues and seeing me in his chair, he told me to get out. As a 13/14 year old, I was very upset. Today, that would seem a strange reaction but just remember that this was in the old era when children were really children and acted as such.
Once his colleagues had left, he came over to me and just looked down at me like a haunting man and told me in no uncertain terms to “NEVER, EVER SIT IN HIS CHAIR AGAIN”. I really had to hold back the tears.
Then when I was roughly 16 or 17, Martin decided that he would come and work for his father. For some reason, my father agreed to some of his friends coming too. It was not for work experience as my so called brother could not even do Maths properly; it was purely for beer money. But the prodigal child was allowed to do whatever he wanted, within reason.
Many posts ago, I talked about how proud I thought my father was when I qualified. My Mum, on the other hand, was very proud, as her “baby son” had achieved so much and it did not go unnoticed that I had achieved so much more than the prodigal child, my brother. I think that this was where the bitterness from my father really started.
I achieved, far more, in the early days than my brother ever did but he did suggest me for the Premium Credit job and then rightly took a back seat.
Do not get me wrong; my brother is extremely eloquent and is a great salesman. He could even sell oil to the Arabs but a businessman he is not and that is why his pet project, his brewery failed, being propped up by his father.
Compare that to my football boot business. Yes, my father lent me money but all of that was paid back but in Martin’s case, it was just written off; hence the need to merge with a far more successful brewery. He has now gone from sole owner to being just a salesman with shares.
My father, whom I looked up to for so long, has become a self centred, evil man, who has been quite willing to try and destroy his son assisted by my very own daughter due to my success but my unfortunate divorces and nervous breakdown, has brought me back to more or less where I was when I was at 30, Lincoln Road in Guildford ably assisted by his campaign to destroy me of course.
Talk about hitting a man when he is down