As a young man, my father was pretty typical. From taking cat food to school as his lunch, to being returned home at four am by the police and them knocking on the door and an upstairs window creaking slowly open to reveal his grandmother leaning out, and the police looking up and calling.
"Scuse me ma'm. We have a wee lass by the name of Norah? Found her tryin' ta git ta school."
His grandmother looking down and squinting.
"We don't have any lasses here, but we do have a wee lad by tha' name o' Noah."
I do have a distinct memory of my father telling me how, when he was about fifteen, he tried to make mead. He did it all properly, buying a kit from the brewer's shop and everything. He spent days at the library studying recipes and finally got it all sorted and made the mixture, put it in jars, and left it to ferment. When it was done, it was great, apparently.
Eventually however, he ran out, and decided to make more. It just so happened to be a Sunday though, and the brewers shop was closed. In London in the 80s, there was only one shop open on a Sunday, the local corner shop. So my father got on his bike and cycled down the road. They didn't have brewers yeast, funnily enough, so my father made do. They had a bread making kit, and that contains yeast, so what could possibly go wrong?
That evening he mixed up the recipe, sealed it into glass jars, and put it on top of his shelves to ferment.
Now bread mix contains flour, and we all know what happens when you mix flour, yeast, honey and warm water, but just in case you cannot yet see what was about to happen, let me explain.
At two am, my grandmother was woken by a series of loud bangs, and she staggered up, swearing like only a true scot can, an burst into her sons room. My father was stood, bleary eyed, staring at his shelves. My grandmother looked over to see a wave of bread dough was pouring off them, like some alien mucus taking over the world.
The jars had burst due to the build up of dough and mixture inside them. My father never made mead again, but he's become quite good at baking bread.