So where was I before I got sidetracked by the BNP wannabes? Ah yes, my Mam the homewrecker.
Now, I was quite naive back then in a lot of ways. Certainly I wasn't seeing the full picture as regards Mickey and Maurices relationship. I was soon to learn that Maurice, far from the kindly Uncle I'd had him pegged as was, and as far as I know still is, a nasty piece of work - a violent bully who loved to lord it over women and children. In the grand scheme of things Mickey was probably better off without him. Not that that justifies my Mother stealing him away from her own sister mind you. And I'm still not sure what it says about her intelligence that she would want to, given what she knew about him (his treatment of Mickey, which they'd managed up to then to keep secret from us kids, apparently being common knowledge in the family). Still, love conquers all eh?
We stayed at their house for a relatively short time. The overcrowding our presence caused meant we were pretty quickly given a place of our own by the council. Nevertheless, there was still a very uncomfortable period between the declaration of 'love' and us actually leaving, when we all had to live together under the same roof, desperately trying to pretend that there was nothing wrong and everyone was happy. What kind of hell must that have been for Mickey?
Anyway, eventually the time came for us to move out. Which, is the point that things became really uncomfortable. Maurice was coming with us, that much was set, but it became increasingly clear that Mickey was still hoping he'd change his mind and stay with her. God knows why she would want him to, but whatever.
The new house being only about 10 minutes walk away (itself not an ideal situation), we would transfer our stuff in a number of journeys on foot, rather than springing for the cost of transport. It was on the last such trip that I would personally witness, for the first but by no means last time, Maurices temper.
We had left the house with the last of our belongings and were making our way across the grass in front of the house. Mickey came out about a minute after us and started shouting at Maurice. At first she was begging him not to go, then she started hurling abuse at him, slagging off both him and my mother. I was a little embarrassed but kept on walking,and made sure my sister did the same. Not Maurice though. He turned round, sprinted across to her, punched her in the face and then crouched over her on the ground, screaming into her face as he held her down by the throat. He threatened, top of his lungs, that he would kill her if she didn't go back inside. Then he just got up and walked back to us, leaving her lying on the grass sobbing.
All told, not one of the most pleasant things I'd ever witnessed.
Maurice moved in with us in our new house and would be a pivotal figure in my childhood for the next few years. Not always a live-in figure, mind you, that was very off and on, but never far away. Some of those times were actually fun. Some though, not so much.