I Believe in Mother Goose
Paul Chambers, now in his eighties, has never lost his sense of fun, or indeed his memories of his beloved wife, Joan. The semi-autobiographical I Believe in Mother Goose is another of his novels that dips into past times, telling a sometimes poignant, sometimes comical story of their life together.
Of his climb to the dizzy heights of branch management, and the manoeuvring needed along the way.
Of the disgust of Joan's old dad (who always tagged along on their holidays) when he was told of the plan to go camping in France: 'Camping? France? I was there in the war. It's full of trenches!'
Of Roy Castle unwitting participation in Paul's con trick.
Of a police helicopter being called out to search for Paul's absconding, schizophrenic brother, Stephen.
Of Stephen's pal telling amazing stories of his imaginary adventures, like jumping off the towering Tyne Bridge and landing on a policeman.
Of Joan and Paul's encounters with strange and peculiar folk on their caravanning trips abroad.
Of elder brother, vague Don, living in a council house with a big, unreported hole in the roof, a bigger hole in the ceiling and a bucket on the floor - he didn't want to 'bother the council'.
Of unfortunate, brave brother Cecil, suffering from the scourge of mulitple sclerosis, but cheerful to the end.
And of a courageous wife who fought through a succession of illnesses and operations before finally succumbing to cancer.
Leaving Paul the memory of her smiles.