My daddy's Uncle Dick emigrated from Govan to Canada as a young man. He was successful in business and married a well to do lady named Bea. They had no children.
Over the years, he kept in close contact with his family in Scotland, sending letters and cards, and during the war we received parcels of food and clothes. I'll never forget the navy blue reefer jacket he sent which had a zip going up the front - something nobody had at that time. It was like an ice skating jacket with embroidered snowflakes on the front and everyone admired it.
When Dick was about 70, he was planning his first holiday home with his wife to visit the family. One night before their arrival, I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth. As I was about to open the door, I suddenly felt afraid and had a strong feeling that there was someone on the other side of it, an elderly person. After a few moments, I felt silly, opened the door and saw no one.
The next morning, we received word that Uncle Dick had died. My mother wondered if Dick had got a chance to come and see his family in Govan before he went on his way.
My granny, who was Dick's sister, wrote to Dick's widow and before long, Aunt Bea decided she would make the trip on her own.
On her arrival in Glasgow, Bea booked into the Central Hotel. My granny was in awe of her and felt nervous about meeting her, so my mummy, as the most confident of the family, was sent to greet her and take her on a tour.
Bea took her to dinner in the hotel restaurant and ordered steak, a dish none of us would ever have been able to afford. After taking one bite, Bea called for the waitress and said,
"You see this steak, I could sole and heel my shoe with it".
My mummy was mortified! Bea was quite a lady, but turned out to be very, very nice.
The following day, my mother brought Bea to visit us all in Govan. She showed Bea her and my daddy's bedroom and invited her to stay. Bea accepted and spent the rest of her holiday at our house.
One day, when Bea was visiting at my granny's room and kitchen in Elphinstone Street, she - unfortunately - had to use the outside toilet.
On the way home, she confided to my mother, "Oh, I'm so glad that Dick didn't see how his sister was living in that little pokey house. If he had seen that, it would have really upset him. And you'll never guess what she uses for toilet paper - newspaper, cut into squares, hung up on a nail on the door!"
My mummy just kept quiet. She knew that Dick would have been well aware of how his sister was living and that she was probably in better conditions than when he'd left their home aged 20.
After this visit, Bea came back to Scotland nearly every year for a holiday and stayed with my mummy and my daddy, who she said was very like his Uncle Dick.
She always said my daddy would inherit her fortune. She lived till in her 90s, and my daddy got his inheritance, which he generously shared out between all of the family.