It was before 1965 as we were still living in the council house, and along with Green Shield Stamps,
‘Free Gifts’ were all the rage from wine glasses with petrol to plastic flowers with washing powder.
There was a lot of snow that winter, so it could have been the Big Freeze of 1963, and Mum had collected over a dozen plastic tulips in a variety of colours with her ‘washes whiter than white’ washing powder.
Dad decided to ‘plant them’ in the snow in the front garden.
The guy next door (who liked his beer) complimented him on his ‘show’, so Dad said they were a new strain of the flower designed for winter blooming.
Two days later, the tulips had all disappeared, and the guy next door had a black eye.
When asked what had happened, he said that he’d upset the wife, and wanted to make his peace with flowers. As he’d spent his last bob down the pub, he decided to pick Dad’s tulips, with every intention of replacing the bulbs for next year.