The truth was that Maurice was unable to resist the call of her cooking. His wife did feed him but he would always give in to an illicit bun or three. He enjoyed Mum’s company and would stand, in the way, in our teeny-tiny kitchen, as mum skirted around him, rolling pin in hand.
Maurice really came to make away with one of Mum’s ‘quick bread’ rolls (no yeast in sight, you could bounce them off the wall the next day). WHO? slathered them in butter and added an inch-thick piece of cheese. Then he’d have a big slab of date and walnut cake almost cool enough to eat. Spotting a pasty on the side, he’d help himself to one. The pasties were filled with minced beef and parsnip, and the pastry was divine, short but light.
He was a beautiful man. I thought the world of him – we all did. He always arrived (and indeed left) with a smile and a joke. And underneath his arm would be a ‘pack up’ for the journey home – it would, after all, take a full 10 minutes to get there, if he strolled to the car.