In a response to Mrs Pouncer's moving musings on stage curtains and ancestors, I commented that my own parents' relationship had blossomed when my father lit my mother in sundry productions; and Mrs P asked me to expand on the tale.
Bear in mind that I have the fragmentary evidence of my parents and my grandmother for this version, since for obvious reasons I wasn't there other than as a twinkle in someone's eye.
My parents had known each other in some degree at their mixed grammar school - of which my mother was head girl - and there may even have been some romantic attachment (my father on one occasion wistfully alluded to the long grass behind the tennis courts, upon which my mother silenced him with A Look That Could Kill). Anyway, they then went their separate ways - my father to do a degree in electrical engineering and then get hoiked off to do national service in the merchant navy, my mother to drama school (Rose Bruford's) in London and then to teacher training in English and Drama in Birmingham. She was strikingly good-looking, I may as well point out at this stage: dark and petite, in a sort of vaguely Audrey Hepburn-ish way.
Years went by; at length my father returned from the sea, but according to his version of the tale still carrying a torch for my mother, but having long lost contact with her.
And then one evening his mother was reading a local paper bearing a review of an amateur production of something or other in which she played the female lead (as she usually did). "Do you remember that Janet ------?" she said, reading out my mother's maiden name (which, along with my bank account number and sort code, I have no intention of publishing on the Internet). He did, and hope rose within him at the apparent revelation that she was not yet married.
Being also eligible for membership of that dramatic society (old pupils of the aforementioned mixed grammar school), he contacted them to enquire whether they needed a lighting man, casually dropping the fact that he was now an electrical engineering graduate. Unsurprisingly, they said yes - setting him up neatly for a studiedly nonchalant reunion with him leaning suavely over the lighting gantry.
I have difficulty reconciling the romantic hero of the tale with the father I know, love and frequently take cover from during incidents of DIY. My mental picture of him always involves him dropping bags of spanners on her head or similar, but clearly that can't have been the case. Imagining one's own parents as carefree young lovers is always difficult.
But anyway, something clearly blossomed because he asked her out, then asked her to meet his parents (on which evening his father - also an electical engineer - received an emergency callout from a local coalmine and insisted my father accompany him down the pit, leaving my mother and paternal grandmother awkwardly alone).
All being well, we shall be joining them next year to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.