Noel has taken to calling Emma and me Mr and Mrs Banks, which must make the suitably intimidating but frankly unlovely Maria, Mary Poppins.
I’d loved the film as a child and had finally introduced Noel to it on television at Easter. Now I’m beginning to regret it. Noel immediately demanded the DVD, which arrived yesterday. We’re currently into our fourth viewing of the weekend.
“Look daddy. Mr Banks, the banker. That’s you. Why’s he such a misery guts? And why’s he dressed funny?” Now let me be quite clear – I have never worn a bowler hat. But knowing of my loathing for umbrellas, Noel is especially delighted with “my” ritual humiliation and dismissal towards the end of the film, which includes the brutalisation of Banks’s umbrella by the bank’s senior partners. I wince each time Noel squeals with delight at the scene.
“Is that why you hate brollies so much, Mr Banks?” But Noel’s usually too busy turning his own umbrella inside out to enjoy my favourite scene, the kite-flying Banks’s eventual appointment as junior partner.
“Can we feed the birds Mr Banks and then start a run on your bank? Daddy, what’s a run on the bank? It sounds funny.”
“It’s when…” But the phone rings. It’s Juliette. I fear this could be out of the frying pan and into the fire. The lawyers have told me I must have no contact with her.
“David, can I talk to you?”
“Juliette, you know I can’t talk to you whilst this is being investigated.”
“But that’s the point. I need you to know my side of the story.
“Juliette... I’m sorry.”
Silence at the other end of the telephone.
And at that moment Noel bursts in, brandishing a mop, impersonating Dick Van Dyke impersonating a long-legged Cockney chimney sweep.