diamond geezer

 Sunday, October 20, 2013

The last time I saw my Dad he was 74.

We'd made a good day of it. I came up to Norfolk on the train, and he met me on the station platform. We drove to Morrisons, which is the social heart of the local market town, and I pushed his trolley around. He didn't need to buy much, but we bought some staples for the back of the larder, and a "meal for two" deal for later in my visit. Then we drove back home for a cup of tea, and sat in the conservatory discussing how the view over the fields had changed in the last twenty years.

I helped out with a minor issue on his computer, and checked out the latest images for his local village publication. We went out and cleared some vegetation from his driveway, then carried it down the road to nextdoor and dumped it on their bonfire. It was also time to cut down this summer's tomato plants - they went on the compost heap - and then it started raining so we went inside for a tea and a coffee.

Then we went out for a meal. It was some considerable drive, but Norfolk's like that and my Dad knows these roads backwards. We ended up in a restro-pub by the river, where a log fire was blazing entirely unnecessarily, and ordered curry and pie. We chatted about our earliest memories, which for him might have been a bomb dropping in January 1943, and for me might have been an Underground trip to Putney. And we tried not to be distracted by two gossipy ladies from Bexleyheath at the next table, and the slightly over-earnest waiter.

After that we headed to the Norwich Playhouse for an evening of quickfire quips with Barry Cryer. He'd brought along Colin Sell on the piano, who intervened occasionally with some comic songs. And we laughed at all the appropriate and inappropriate moments, even though I think many of the jokes were exactly the same as he'd told two years ago on his previous national tour.

And then we drove home in the dark, in the moonlight, along mostly empty roads. Before locking the car away I stopped to stare up at the stars in the night sky, in detail entirely invisible from London, until the security light switched on and blotted them out. Inside we had a slice of fruit cake each, and watched Arsenal thrash Norwich on Match of the Day. Like I said, we'd made a good day of it.

The last time I saw my Dad he was a shadow standing on the far side of the living room, closing the door and heading off to bed. I was surprised he didn't want to stay up five minutes longer, because midnight was imminent, but he's never been quite so in awe of precise timing as I have.

The next time I see my Dad, which'll be in a few hours time, he'll be 75.

It's his birthday today, which is why I'm up in Norfolk in the first place, and we'll be celebrating with a family meal later. So that's going to be good, and a rightful celebration of three-quarters of a century of life. All three generations of the family will be present, with the exception of eldest grandson (who's now, blimey, off studying at university). And later we'll come home and watch TV, which as of today Dad gets for free without the need to pay for a licence. There are downsides to being 75, but there are benefits too.

So anyway, good morning Dad, and happy birthday. You're probably reading this at some ridiculously early hour with a cup of coffee in your hand, and I'm undoubtedly still fast asleep in the spare bedroom. But congratulations on this temporal milestone, and let's make it a 75th to remember.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream