ViLLEROY & BOCH

Century Unlimited is a line of high quality Vilbostone porcelain tiles in black and white. The patterns are inspired by 19th century Mettlach prints. Website: www.villeroy-boch.com

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I inherited all that from my father, although I didn’t have his loud confidence when I was young; perhaps he didn’t have it either when he was young. When I was a boy, perhaps about ten, my father was stationed at the Central Flying School at Little Rissington in Gloucestershire. I remember we used to go shopping on a Saturday morning to Stow-on-the-Wold. The morning would conclude with my father and mother telling Peter and me to stay in the car while they went for a quick drink in the Red Lion in the square. Often we would sit there for a couple of hours, bickering and squabbling, until they returned, sometimes with a bag of sherbet lemons for us, to assuage their guilt. Saturday lunchtimes in my mid-childhood were the only regular time when my father drank with my mother. The other occasions would be when they went out to functions at the officers’ mess – my father resplendent in his mess-kit: short jacket, starched shirt, black tie, medals; my mother glowing in a long dress and jewels, back straight, like a princess. When I was very young they went to parties a lot, fancy dress sometimes: the King and Queen of Hearts; Dracula and his bride; once as a caveman and his I can’t remember what my mother’s role was then: cavewoman I suppose. I just remember my father in animal skins, wigged and bearded with ghastly false teeth and a massive club, chasing after us boys, grunting and banging his club on the ground while we ran and squealed with delight and a bit of fear. Peter and I would be left alone at home while they partied.

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