|A quick drawing of the little crofthouse. My bedroom was on the left.|
One night as I lay in bed in my attic room, reading by the warm glow of the oil lamp, I became aware of something hitting the skylight and rattling down the roof. Someone was throwing stones at the skylight! I got up and opened the skylight. It was my step dad Jimmy.
"Put that lecht oot Laddie!" He said this in what I can only describe as a loud whisper. Translated into English what he was saying was, "put that light out."
He was what can be described as a man careful with money. This was why he wanted the lamp extinguished. The reason for throwing the stones to attract my attention, and the reason for the whispering, was because he didn't want Mum to know what he was saying. He knew that it would lead to an argument about his meanness.
In Jimmy's defence I have to say, that he had lived on his own for a very long time, having become a widower as a young man. He had his way of doing things, and he did not believe in spending his hard earned money too easily. That is not a fault. That is just the way he was.
I think he was too scared of my Mum's reaction if he disciplined me directly. He found her outbursts difficult to deal with. I can't say I blamed him.
But a sixty year old, throwing stones up at the skylight, and feeling he has to whisper! What does that say about him? More importantly though, as far as I am concerned is, what does this say about my Mother?