Mr Benn narrator Ray Brooks on his perfect Surrey weekend
PUBLISHED: 16:21 14 May 2015 | UPDATED: 16:36 14 May 2015
Best-known as the narrator of children’s TV series Mr Benn, here actor Ray Brooks shares the stories of his weekends at home in Kew...
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2015
On Friday nights, my wife Sadie and I used to go for a meal at Jasper’s Bun in the Oven, on Kew Green, for what we referred to as our weekly ‘directors’ meeting’. Sadie used to look after the children during the week, and I worked all week, so chances of talking seriously on weekday evenings were next to impossible with children to be bathed, teeth to be cleaned, pyjamas to be applied and stories to be read. By the end of all that, we were knackered. Now, with the children grown up, there are babysitting duties for our grandchildren.
Saturdays usually tend to include a visit to Waitrose. Shopping in supermarkets can be dangerous these days with trolleys swerving round corners. It’s similar to the chariot race in Quo Vadis. I’ve suggested traffic lights but nobody took any notice.
Then it’s upstairs to continue my writing. As well as my autobiography, Learning My Lines, I’ve had two novels published – the latest one, Lies, last year. I’ll keep checking my watch though. At 12.45, it’s off to the pub for a couple.
Every other Saturday, my son Tom, grandson Joe and I go to watch Fulham, unless Sky have decided to show the game on a Sunday or a Monday or a Tuesday. I wish they’d stop mucking around with Saturday games.
Normally, it’s fish to be cooked on Saturday nights and I’m the chef. Cyprus potatoes from Squires are best for sautés.
Sundays seem to have fallen into a pattern in our household.
I hate the Sunday papers; they hit the floor with a force that threatens to bring the house down. They’re so full of rubbish supplements extolling the thrill of putting up a garden fence or trying anti-snoring devices.
Later, there’ll be a walk along the river watching novice rowers being shouted at by coaches and avoiding the speeding cyclists, who always seem intent on mowing down pedestrians.
Lunchtime, it’s off to the pub listening to stories that I’ve heard a hundred times. But the beer’s good.
Then there’s the weekly Skype to New Zealand where my son Will, his wife Anna and the grandchildren Beau and Grace have decided to live. Skype is great but sometimes you lose the picture; you can’t see them or they can’t see us. It is wonderful to have this contact. But we do miss them.
Sunday nights are spent just dozing away on the couch and looking forward to Monday when the world gets back to normal again.