Given the circumstances that we find ourselves in on this first Sunday of August, I thought that this month I would share a story of my parents-in-law.
They both lived and grew up in the East End of London at a time when families all lived close and were very involved in one another's lives. Monther in Law is as close to her cousins as she is her brothers and sisters as holiday times and Christmasses were all spent together. She sometimes bemoans the fact that everyone has scattered now and that our generation don't have the family get togethers that they used to have.
When she married my father in law they started to spend a lot of time with 2 particular cousins and their 'other halves' (J&B and R&J). The six of them spent many holidays together, and if not whole weeks of holidays, then hosting long weekends together. There was one year when my in laws were celebrating a special anniversary. May have been their 40th wedding anniversary, I can't remember. But they had planned a week on the Channel Island Jersey, just the two of them even though it was going to seem strange going away on their own.
Unbeknown to them, R&J thought it might be fun to spring a surprise on them. As R's son worked at Gatwick, they arranged flights to fly out and 'accidently' meet up with them. But, decided to add a little bit of fun to the surprise. They decided to go in disguise. R changed the way he wore his hair and put on a false moustache and J coloured her hair, put on a pair of big sunglasses and bought a dress which was not to her style of dressing.
On the first night at the hotel, they saw my in-laws in the bar before dinner and stood beside them but with their backs to them to test their reactions. Not a hint that they recognised them. They went into the dining room and chose a table near enough to be in sight but not too close for them to recognise their voices when then spoke. After dinner they went into the bar again. My in laws sat down and then father in law went to the bar to order drinks. R&J decided the time was right to spring their surprise. R stood next to him at the bar and in an assumed voice asked him to pass a bowl of peanuts. A quizical look but no recognition. R&J sat themselves at the next table to them and then after a short while when they were relaxed and sipping their drinks R removed his fake moustache, and J took off her glasses and spoke in her normal voice. The penny dropped! Can you begin to imagine how surprised they were? What a lovely surprise and so typical of R&J to have some fun with them. Apparently my in laws had noticed this couple in the dining room but obviously not expecting to see anyone they knew and with them both talking in a very posh disguised accent they merely commented to each other how much that couple over there reminded them of R&J. Little did they know!