31 March 2015

Visitor

A surprise visit from my brother Robin yesterday. He lives in southern France and was mainly back to replace his car. Now he's got a big black and shiny Audi 4x4 vehicle. The previous one was silver coloured. We went out for a spin. Where Ringinglow Road leaves the city the speed limit is 50mph but he was doing almost ninety. Quietly I mentioned that this was where the boxer Naseem Hamid nearly killed a local man, speeding along the same road. Robin slowed to seventy. But once through the tiny village of Ringinglow he applied the rocket boosters again and instead of slowing round the moorland bends he was accelerating so that you felt the centrifugal forces would turn the car over.

Once in the Pyrenees, Shirley and I were in the back of his car and we were thrown about like teenagers on a fairground ride. No chance to admire the view on a white knuckle ride. At least yesterday I was in a front seat - like a co-pilot with the crazed maniac beside me. Eat your heart out Jeremy Clarkson!
From left to right - The Pudding brothers in 1958 - Robin,
Yorkshire, Paul and Simon
Robin has always liked machinery and speed. He has twelve motorbikes and a pilot's licence. He has owned many different cars. His very first one was a souped up Mini Cooper that he maintained with the kind of engagement that I reserved for reading, writing or music. We are very different that way. To me a car is something to get me from A to B within speed limits and without any kind of collision. I drive a bit like Reginald Molehusband while he's more like Dick Dastardly.

It's the same with money. I have no real interest in it. Never have. It is something to buy the groceries with. Something you need for holidays and when the washing machine breaks down. Something you dig into to help out your kids. But Robin knows about money. He knows where to invest it and how to squeeze deals to get the best possible value. You squeeze till the pips squeak. Unlike the rest of us, he has often sold his cars at a profit. They increase in value as mine depreciate.

For all of that, he's a good guy. Hard-working and ambitious in spite or perhaps because  of his dyslexia, he achieved a lot in his working life that saw him flying to the Arab world and South America as an export manager where he pulled off various profitable deals - mostly with bonuses attached. But he cares deeply about other people. He remembers acts of kindness, experiences nostalgia keenly and sees the funny side of things perhaps more readily than I do. He has lived with relish - a zest for life - just like my oldest and late brother Paul. Often in frenzied overdrive while I tend to be in cruise control - just motoring along.

I might go and stay at the French house in May. Robin and his girlfriend Suzie are going sailing around Corfu - and he is of course a qualified sailing instructor - but they will need someone to care for their cats back home. I think they have eight now or is it ten? Anyway, we'll see....It was nice to catch up with him yesterday. Friends may come and go but siblings are forever.

25 comments:

  1. A lovely story about your brother. We have four daughters, close in age. When they were teens and squabbling constantly, I reminded them from time to time that "sisters were forever" and not to say something that couldn't be forgotten/forgiven. Over the years, the two oldest and the two youngest have pretty much paired up - mostly due to proximity. But they're all still close, and show up promptly when needed. It makes the parents feel good, too.

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    1. Four girls...and you too Mary! I bet your hubby was driven to distraction by all the talk. Did he wear earplugs or simply retreat to a man cave? Poor fellow!

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    2. It probably wasn't nearly as bad as he tells it. And we've all survived - so far.

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  2. My brother tamed down a lot when he married, but his life sounds a lot like Robin's. He always had a Harley Davidson, or a Corvette, or something that went really fast. We lived in a sparsely populated county when he went to high school, I believe the highway patrol just routinely stopped and ticketed him even if he was doing nothing wrong at the time because they figured he soon would be breaking the law anyway. I rode on the back of his Harley. Once. Your description of the fast car ride is a good one.

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    1. Sounds like he and Robin would have got on fine Jan but Robin never "tamed down" for his wife or for the two or three mistresses that followed. He remained a petrolhead and where I despise Jeremy Clarkson he is one of Robin's heroes.

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  3. Lovely to hear news about Robin. It's a few years now since we were last there and, with family commitments, I'm not sure when we'll get there again. Hope you haven't got too many bruises after your white-knuckle ride. :)

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    1. No bruises but do you know any good counsellors Jenny? I am still shaking.

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  4. Lovely post YP and great photo ~ one for the Pudding Towers family gallery. Pudding Bros. Would have made a great business name.

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    1. Pudding Bros....Makers of the best Yorkshire puddings in the world! Buy one, get three free!

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  5. I envy people with siblings (if they have a close relationship) and always wished for one. Especially a brother. Alas, it wasn't to be. I'd hoped that when I married my husband that I would become close with his sister and brother. That wasn't meant to be, either. My BIL is married to a shrew of a woman that just lives to stir up trouble in the family. No one can stand much time in her company. And SIL is so self involved and oblivious to any attempts at friendship that I gave up trying years ago.

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    1. I wonder what those vixens say about you? "Oh, I wish I could be like Jennifer! She is a goddam saint!"

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    2. They goddamn well should!! LOL!!!

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  6. I didn't know there once were four young puddings, and only three remain. I am very sorry to hear that. My sister and I are very close (in spite of her not appreciating me blogging, and not in a million years going to give me permission to show her picture or even give her name), and I agree with you - siblings truly are forever.
    When I hear of colleagues and acquaintances who have broken off all contact with their parents and/or siblings, it always saddens me, and makes me all the more grateful for having the parents and sister I have.

    Please go and do the cat-and-house-sitting for your brother! I'd love to see pictures from the cats :-)

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    1. Pictures FROM the cats? I don't think that that is possible Miss A as cats are not too good with cameras. They are too busy sniffing their environment or killing mice! It is lovely that you have such a close and loving relationship with your parents and your sister.

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    2. I am sure they can be taught. Of course, the absence of a thumb makes it a bit tricky...

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  7. A fine tale, Yorky. Your brother Robin sounds like an interesting and fun chap. You may be different in some ways, but I'm sure you're similar in many other ways. :)

    My late brother Graham and I had our disagreements, but none so great that broke our bond. We looked at some things in life differently, and others similarly. No matter what...he was my brother...I was his sister...and we loved each other. I guess we knew each other better; we understood each other better than anyone else ever did.

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    1. Thanks Lee. That's how it is. Rest in peace Graham... and Paul.

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  8. The older I get the more I find I lean towards family... as you say they are forever. Good friends are very like family - in fact they become family ( some of them ) - but life pulls us in many directions as we get older with our children spreading out and pulling us with them. That's when the family ties web us together and sometimes friends drift away.
    you haven't changed a bit...and yes , go to France and mind the cats. I love it when my blogging mates travel.

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    1. Well we will see Helen. Where they live is quite isolated and there are only French people in the area. I prefer Australians. Even the cats miaow in French! In some ways I think the cats are child substitutes. Neither Robin or Suzie had children of their own.

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  9. Two big Puddings and two small Puddings, all smiling, biked up and ready to roll. Lovely photo.

    Ms Soup

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    1. Thank you Alphie. I understand that you also have three siblings - Minestrone, Mulligatawny and your brother - Cockaleekie!

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  10. I love the old photo YP. You should go to France, go on borrow some of your brother's spontaneity and get yourself there. Just think of walking to the local bakery every morning for your croissants and having them still warm with President butter. Hell, I might come with you!! My sisters are my best friends now that we are older. We all used to squabble as kids but they are the two of the few people I will confide in.

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    1. Walk to the nearest boulangerie? That would be three miles away! It would be time for lunch when I got back. Tell Roberto you are going to a holistic therapy conference and I'll pick you up from the airport Mademoiselle Fifi!

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  11. That photo made me smile
    And i mean SMILE

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  12. Oh, your mama must have been a saint! Are there sisters, too, or just that quartet of biking boys? No doubt her hair was gray very early in life.....
    All kidding aside, I envy those with siblings. I am the only child of a single mother - not very common back when I was born (unlike the present times). Too bad the people who nowadays don't bother with marriage, but still have kids, can't understand a bit of what it's like for them to have no 'real' family as the years go by...

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.