Shhh, she’s still here…

…and now reading the Sunday Telegraph in the next room. So nobody make a sound, OK?

I have just discovered that my father had a bit part in The Titfield Thunderbolt: a classic Ealing comedy film from the early 1950s. The scene is towards the very end of the film, and my father plays Boy Running Down Hill. It’s an uncredited, non-speaking role, and almost entirely shot from behind – but nevertheless, it Still Counts. We’ve just been playing and re-playing the scene on DVD, and it’s fairly clearly him.

I can’t believe that I never knew this before, as it was one of my father’s earliest boasts to my mother (a movie star in her own right) when they were first courting. Perhaps he thought it was too poofy (this came before National Service put hairs on his chest), and that it might influence me too much towards a theatrical life?

Incidentally, yesterday’s rain stopped just in time for the fireworks display – which was just about spectacular enough, but not a patch on two years ago. Some very odd choices of music – there’s never any excuse for Westlife, and do we really need to be reminded of Darius’s “Colourblind” again so soon? – but the climactic display which accompanied U2’s “Vertigo” justified the ticket price alone.

She went up to bed about two paragraphs ago. (“Oh, there you are.”) I had BBC News open and ready, so no sweat. Now, dare I risk a fag in the garden?

I am forty-four years old, and still sneaking around the old girl like a furtive teenager. Ah well. We have made progress on many fronts over the years, but it’s good to retain a little generational distance.

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