Musings and Snoozes

“In the end, we’ll all become stories”

on June 14, 2016

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Today would have been my dad’s birthday and while the day itself no longer upsets me (you’re more likely to find me bursting into tears on a random Thursday than on a “special” date), I couldn’t let it pass without a mention.

I have pretty happy memories of dad’s birthdays over the years, so I thought I’d share my favourites, or at least the ones that make the best stories.

1) Firstly, it wouldn’t be a British summertime birthday without the rain. When I was a kid, most of dad’s birthdays involved a lot of people and a barbecue. The “lot of people” had often been invited that afternoon in the pre-bbq pub, and bbq itself was usually held under an umbrella. Dad loved it tho, so don’t feel too sorry for him. He’d stand outside looking after his precious bbq, while we’d take it in turns to bring him beer and have a brief chat under the aforementioned umbrella. Once everything was cooked, we’d eat inside, the music would start and I’m pretty sure most of the parties went on late into the night. I, as a child, inevitably had to give in and go to bed at some point, though I’d hate the thought of missing out on something exciting (which incidentally I’m yet to grow out of).

2) One year Dad’s birthday was celebrated in France. We used to go to the same house every year when I was younger and they are some of my happiest memories (and where I started to learn French, albeit very shyly). Instead of enjoying an actual sunny bbq for a change (because we did that every other night), we went out to lunch to celebrate. And so the story of the strawberry coulis was born. This became a running joke for years, and one that mum and I still bring up now. My dad was an amazing cook and loved food, but he didn’t do desserts. Didn’t make them much and didn’t like eating them. This was however clearly an exception and the man fell in love with the strawberry coulis, which I assume was covering some sort of cheesecake, I don’t know, but it became the benchmark for all things for years to come – “it’s good, but not as good as the coulis”.

3) And then thirdly and finally, the memory I shared on Facebook this morning – taking me out of school to go for lunch. Never let it be said that my dad did not have his priorities in order. I can remember that it was a surprisingly nice summer day, and I remember dad texting me to ask if I wanted to meet him in my lunch break for a quick drink (I was in sixth form at this point so it was perfectly reasonable). So off and I went. One drink turned into “well the food in here looks good” and that turned into “it’s only one afternoon, let’s stay here and not tell your mother”. We were good at that – mum’s been significantly educated in the last few years in mine and dad’s antics – the pigeon in the butter, and going out and leaving the front door wide open are just two of the better ones.

And so I don’t know what we’d be doing to celebrate if he were here today, though I suspect it would involve food and music in some shape or form. The one thing I can almost guarantee though is that there would be a good story to tell – there always was with dad and I’m forever grateful for it.

So happy birthday Dad, wherever you are. I hope you’re making new memories and thank you for all the stories 😊

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