Now I don't want to blacken My Dad's name, as he could be very kind and by the time my children had come along, he had mellowed into a lovely grandfather.
However, when I was a child, he could turn from being a very tolerant man to 'losing it altogether' and nothing in between. Yes.... he had a very short fuse.
One such occasion recently came to mind.
I was about eleven years old and my brother Godfrey was two and a half years younger.
I had adopted a small summer house at the bottom of the garden, where I played with my friend. One day, I had spent a long time stencilling pictures with paint onto paper and I was particularly pleased with the results and decided to decorate the little house with these masterpieces.
I probably wasn't the perfect sister and may well have provoked Godfrey in some way and as a result, he snatched the pictures down and ripped them up.
The Third World War broke loose. I screamed the place down and Dad, probably thinking I was being murdered, ran out to find what all the fuss was about.
Now one thing my Dad could not stand was wanton destruction and he turned on Godfrey to give him a 'thrashing' as he called it. This was very common when I was a child and parents could whack their children without getting arrested.
Godfrey knew what was coming and he was ready for it.
We lived in an end of terrace house and there was a wooden fence running the whole length of the garden. Godfrey had been blessed with long legs and he was a good sprinter. He jumped the fence no trouble at all and as he was built like a greyhound raced off over the wasteland that was on the other side of the fence.
Unfortunately my Dad was more of a bulldog in stature and although he managed to leap the fence, Godfrey was a dot on the horizon before he even started pursuing him.
After some time, my Dad came limping back, looking hot and sweaty and rather silly, I thought. He slunk into the house without saying anything and sat down to recover.
Godfrey knew from experience, that if he lay low for a couple of hours then the matter would be forgotten and that is exactly what happened....... only I didn't forget the incident.