Tennis and Other Smashing Times


With me joining my father at work, also lead to a few other changes in my life, the main one being that I did not have to attend Sunday school anymore and was taken to the Tennis club with him every Sunday morning instead. Mother now had Sundays free, unless he was playing in the club championships, where her presence was of course mandatory. I was never allowed to play, but I would sit around and play with the other children that had been brought along with their parents, so a good time was had by all. 

Father was a very competitive person, and hated to lose, so he tended to cheat, calling balls long or wide, when they were in fact in. Even as small as I was it was impossible not to pick up the fact that my father was not very well liked at the club when he was on court, it was another thing when he was off it. Father is a very charming man when he turns it on, and women used to find him irresistible for some reason. Whenever he was finished playing he was always surrounded by the fairer sex, irrespective of the fact that they were all aware of my mother, and he definitely encouraged them. 

One day when the whole family was there, presumably during the club championships, Kirsten managed to lock herself in the car. As everyone knows, the Mercedes is not one of the easiest cars to open without a key, and Kirsten had the only one with her inside the car. No matter how we tried to persuade the three year old to lift the door locks, for some unknown reason she wouldn’t. I had never seen my father lose his temper before and it was a revelation. He started shouting at her through the window, and the madder he got the more frightened and uncooperative she became. 

The Bowling club members were shocked at the display of this outburst. I should explain that the bowling club was situated on a terrace and the car park was situated at the foot of the terrace about fifty meters away from the tennis club. Well finally he lost it completely and smashed the rear driver’s side passenger window with his racquet. He then commanded us to get in the car and he drove like a maniac, dropping us off at our gate and roared off to more pleasant pastures.

It was the first time I had seen my mother cry over my father’s behaviour, I was to see it a lot more in the years to come. He must have returned sometime that night as he would have had to change out of his tennis clothes and into his business suit, what time he returned the Gods only know.

Lots of Hugs and more,



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