Frank Ifield was a pop star in the early 60s. He had, I think, a No 1 hit with ‘I remember you’ and two or three more top twenty hits before disappearing into relative obscurity. As a baby and toddler I loved Frank Ifield. This I was told me by mum and dad, although I had no real recollection of him when I was older. Years later in the mid-Seventies when I was a young teenager my mum came running into the living room where I was doing my homework. It was ‘The Frank Ifield Show’ on the telly. I had to watch it because of the family story that I loved Frank Ifield. He sang ‘Would you like to fly in my beautiful balloon?’ which was what everyone was singing in those days. Then he had Ted Rodgers the comic on as his special guest star and was in stitches at Ted’s lame quips. It was a lamentable show and soon taken off the air. But what a betrayal of the family story it would have been to say I did not like Frank Ifield any more, the equivalent of Lear’s daughters rejecting the ageing king.
I remember a similar incident with Uncle Joe and Auntie Pegg. The family story was that I loved jaffa cakes, and when many years later jaffa cakes and marshmallows were on offer I had to choose the jaffa cakes even though I now preferred marshmallows. I watched my sisters eating marshmallows as I was stuck with the jaffa cakes that fate had ordained for me, observed by smiling Joe and Pegg, agents of this inexorable fatality; the family story was being fulfilled.