Things my father taught me

May 20, 2012

How I remember him as a child

My father was a wild card and I was spellbound by him as a child. I would refuse to say goodbye to him when he left for work, hoping that he wouldn’t go. I tore his forehead when he lifted me up to kiss me goodbye. I was besotted. Always the life and soul of the party, the fun seeker, the questioner, he left it to my mother to play the straight man in their comedy duo. She felt one of them had to maintain some semblance of normality if we were to be brought up properly, and so he left that to her and took all the fun bits for himself. But I didn’t see that as a child.

He went drinking with some friends one evening and didn’t reappear for three days. No word, no mobiles, no idea where he was. He’d got so blind drunk he’d simply collapsed and slept under a couch for two days with a load of struggling artists. So the story goes. But he’d had a ball.

He set up societies wherever he lived as a means of getting people together, having fun and usually raising money for charity. But the primary aim was the getting together.

A massive poetry fan he would read, sobbing, waving his arms around. And of course he was a master after dinner speaker and Ode writer. Every wedding they went to he would do ‘a turn’. And he loved the show of it all, and mother watched and was proud. Very occasionally she would join him for a performance, but rarely. Unlike him, she hid her light under a bushel despite her being by far the better actor. They had met a Chester Theatre Club where she was a leading lady and he had walk on parts, but in life she let him shine.

Top Ten Things My Father Taught Me

  1. It doesn’t matter what people look like or what they wear, it’s what they believe in that matters
  2. Everybody deserves respect
  3. No one is better than anyone else simply by birth or by the nature of the job they do
  4. Unconditional love. No matter what mess I got myself in to.
  5. Its alright to show emotion
  6. Never stop learning, never stop asking questions
  7. Never forget your roots, where you came from and what people sacrificed to let you be where you are
  8. Applause is an aphrodisiac
  9. People matter more than possessions
  10. War is unspeakably horrific

Wedding Day 1955


15 Responses to “Things my father taught me”

  1. […] previous blogs about him are here, here  here and […]

  2. whitt88 Says:

    What a beautiful way to remember your Dad. You sprinkled some water over my mind, and memories of my own Dad started sprouting everywhere. Evocative post. Thank you.

  3. Hannah F Says:

    Loved reading this and the previous one (they all preferred…). Well, am enjoying them all, but these were two faves!

  4. michael Says:

    Another top-notch post Mum! Although you forgot “bread is an excellent gravy-sponge” and “the Welsh invented everything worth mentioning”.

    I’d never heard the story about the artists before. Brilliant! Classic Taid.

  5. PAUL Says:

    I can see much of his character in you Sarah. Lovely memories trigger thoughts of my own parents and how much fun they had back then when times were tough.

  6. Cecilie Says:

    I really really LOVE this, Sarah, congratulations with your own blog! So much love and energy into this little story. Faded memories magnified! The word “adoreable” comes to my mind; be it because of the little girl telling the story, the man and carismatic clown or the well of own findings to search for? Keep on writing and sharing, and I´ll keep on reading!

    • thanks Cecilie – one never knows how others will react to such personal stuff, but perhaps it reminds people of what their own parents have done for them – and takes them back to their childhood for a moment?

  7. Kate Says:

    i like this – think “culture (art, literature, language, history) is a huge one for me together with just finding the enjoyment in connecting with people and who they are (whatever they are and what ever they like) are two imprtant ones . Will think on.

    • Yes you are right. There are probably loads more-and like you say they may be different for you than for me. It is quite a fun exercise to do tho-to limit it to ten!

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Your Dad played the exccentric old man to perfection, being around him was just fun personified.Never forget the boules day with him.

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