Father’s Day Gifts

546120_461213067244937_869093068_nIt was Father’s Day yesterday – traditionally a time to say thank you to dads everywhere and perhaps give them a token of appreciation.  Mine isn’t here to do that, so I thought I’d write about the gifts he gave me instead.

My dad was old-school, in that he wasn’t present at the birth of his children and never changed a nappy – men didn’t much, at that time. Though come to think of it he wasn’t too hot at some of the masculine roles either – it was my mum who painted the house and wallpapered, and took charge of the finances (counting coins into carefully labelled envelopes in those pre-direct debit days).  Nevertheless he was so delighted at my early-morning home birth  that I seem to remember a tale about him jumping on a bicycle half-dressed and rushing off to tell my grandmother that he had a daughter at last (after three sons), ignoring the racing pedals cutting into his bare feet.  Seems a little unlikely (surely it wouldn’t have taken a minute to put his shoes on?) so perhaps like all the best stories, not meant to be taken literally!    Continue reading

Love, Life and Loss

017Another spring, another photograph of my favourite bluebell woods in full bloom – and a reminder that it’s over a year since I started writing my blog.  I’ve been silent for a while, not quite knowing how to write about happiness at a time of sorrow, as news of three friends coping with sudden and shocking bereavements has reached me over the last couple of months.

I guess we all fool ourselves that we are in control of our lives, until something so harsh and unexpected confronts us with the truth – that we really don’t know what tomorrow holds for certain.  Our human need to make sense of things, to understand and piece together the jigsaw, is challenged when life is shattered so suddenly.  We have so many questions, yet there are no easy answers.    Continue reading