This morning I sat on the edge of the bed and listened to Master Johnny make his way to the bathroom to shower before work. He was whistling tunelessly, unaware of his actions. I chuckled.
“What are you laughing at?” asked Lady Barton St Mary sleepily.
I explained that Master Johnny reminded me of my dad, who also had the same habit. In fact, it was also something that my granddad did, which became a bit of a habit in later life when he showed signs of dementia, when he would whistle almost constantly.
We used to visit my grandparents every week. As you may know, we are a loving family, but not particularly sympathetic. At the time of this particular visit, I would have been about 18 years old. Granddad was watching the cricket on his TV in their council flat. The sunlight shone straight through the large picture windows, which meant that Nan and Granddad both wore flat caps to shield their eyes whilst viewing.
Granddad sat gazing at the screen, whistling tunelessly.
“‘Ere, Pop, wassat song?” asked my dad, winking at me.
My granddad stopped whistling and glared at my dad.
“Fuck off,” he said, before returning to his viewing.
He wasn’t that demented.