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Sunday, 20 January 2013

My Dad's Social Club

One of my ex-students works at a bookmakers and he was bemoaning the fact that they were still open despite the snow storm.  The bookies is my Dad's Social Club.  Ever since he retired he has made his way there nearly every morning, come rain or shine.  He hasn't been for a few days now - confined to barracks because of the snow - and is going stir crazy. Yes, he likes a flutter on the horses but it's more than that.  It gets him out of the house (my Mum would say from under her feet!); it gives a purpose to his daily exercise; he meets his friends and has a laugh and yes, sometimes he makes a few bob too.  If someone doesn't turn up for a couple of days, one of them goes round to find out why - they don't use mobile phones to keep in touch (he has one, but it's never switched on!).  That way they can look after each other if they need help.  Sometimes it leads to him hospital visiting, occasionally to a funeral.  The staff are lovely, and it's like his second home.  Last year my mum was getting runner beans almost daily from his friend's allotment and sometimes she gets flowers too, although she doesn't always meet the donor.  He says he goes to help "the old chaps" fill out their betting slips.  Apparently some of them can't see very well. He's 82 and thrives on it.  If my Dad doesn't want to go out to the bookies, that's when I'll start worrying.