Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Nan, me and Omar Sharif

Nan was a vivacious woman who had plenty of boyfriends, but sadly she was also extremely hot tempered and her romances tended not to last.  In retrospect I think she was probably lonely and hid this under a loud and sociable exterior. Her annual romance-fest took place each summer holiday in Ramsgate (and you thought Paris was the city of lurve).  It was surprising she got any amorous action being encumbered by a whiny child (me, whiny but sweet),  a grumpy old woman (Great Gran) and an incontinent poodle (Great Gran's canine companion).  But sea air obviously made lots of people frisky and she was never short of a companion - although it should be said that the holiday boyfriends were of varying quality; but as these relationships rarely lasted longer than two weeks Nan didn't seem to mind.

One evening when on the bus to Margate (the height of holiday sophistication - a trip to Dreamland) a man introduced himself to us as Omar Sharif.  He enquired politely if we were surprised to come across a famous Hollywood actor on the bus.  Nan (a keen cinema fan) said that this thought had immediately crossed her mind and he was looking a bit shorter than when he starred in Doctor Zhivago (and a trifle plumper).

Omar explained that although he knew it would disappoint it was important to be honest and that he wasn't the famous Omar Sharif, just the Omar Sharif who was working in a Ramsgate restaurant for the summer season.  He then asked very formally if we would do him of the honour of accompanying him on a night out.    As we got off the bus Nan whispered that I should call her Mum -  I was happy to go along with this as I  was a little bit in love with Omar already.

We met him most days for the rest of the holiday, he was charming, funny and happy to be buried in the sand.  On the last night of our holiday he told Nan that he was returning home to Turkey at the end of the season and asked if we would  like to go with him. Nan said that she would have to think about it.  Once indoors I excitedly asked if we could go to Turkey (in my mind a place of gargantuan Christmas lunches).  She thought for a while and said that we had better not as she was need to run the Co-op carpet shop and - almost as an afterthought - that my Mum and Dad might miss me.