Strike Up The Band – Episode 22

Saturday morning at the Douglas household always seemed chaotic. Diane was chasing round the house, gathering up laundry to wash, and Mizzy was hugging her bed as usual.

“These girls are old enough to do their own washing,” Brian pointed out.

“And so are you,” Diane said with a wry smile. “But you don’t hear me complaining. It’s easier to do a big wash than bits and pieces. As long as the girls help with the ironing I don’t mind.”

“I didn’t have an ironed shirt on Thursday,” he said. “I had to do one myself in the morning.”

“I’m sorry,” Bethany apologised. “I was going to do the ironing on Wednesday night, but we had an extra band practice. I forgot when I came in afterwards.”

“So the household chores get left because you want to play with the band. It’s about time you pulled your weight around here, with your mum working shifts. We paid enough for your fancy university education, but don’t seem to get any benefit. When your mum and I were your age . . .” he began.

“Never mind that now, Brian. Have you got any shirts that need to be washed?” his wife broke in. “I want to get them out on the line while the weather’s good.”

“But these youngsters haven’t a clue,” he started again. “They swan around with no responsibilities and ”

“It’s a different world nowadays, Brian, love. Kids can’t even get jobs, never mind mortgages. In our day we could walk out of one job and into another the next week. It’s not like that now.”

“I’m sorry, Dad, I’ll do the ironing this morning,” Bethany added to try to pacify him.

“Well, make sure you iron that lot that your mum’s washing now before Monday,” her father grumbled. “And isn’t it about time that sister of yours showed her face? She should do her bit, too. Her room is like a pig sty.”

“Would you like a cup of tea?” Diane asked, trying to placate her irritable husband.

He nodded grumpily.

“Bethany, make your dad a cup of tea with lots of sugar. It might sweeten him up.”

“Nobody takes a blind bit of notice of me, no matter what I say,” he grumbled. “Anyway, I’m going to the match this afternoon. I’m only in the way here.”

Diane kissed the top of her husband’s head.

“Why don’t you go and ask your dad if he wants to go with you?” she suggested.

“Why? I’ve never been to a match with him before. He never took me when I was growing up. He was too busy with his band.”

“The band is playing at the cup tie with Sheffield,” Bethany put in quietly.

“That’s nice, dear,” Diane said with a smile.

Brian just grunted and Bethany felt her shoulders sag. He would never be reconciled that she had defied his wishes and gone to play in the band. She wished someone other than Grandad was interested.


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