Today is my dad's birthday. He would have been 69. It seems particularly relevant for me to observe this today as C's brother died last week leaving behind 4 young children who are a similar age to what I was when I lost my dad.
My dad was English. He spent a good deal of his twenties in the merchant navy as a steward. His duties once included, much to his disgust/disbelief, peeling grapes for Princess Marina (mother of the current Duke of Kent). He came to Australia in 1968 as part of the assisted migration program - a £10 Pom. He met and married my mum a few years later. My grandad was heard to say "finally a son-in-law who can use a hammer" (my mum's two older sisters had married a doctor and a lawyer respectively). I came along a few years after that. He taught my mum how to solve cryptic crosswords - a skill which she has passed on to me in turn. In 1981 we travelled to the UK for a holiday and to attend my dad's younger brother's wedding. We never made it to the celebrations. My dad died from a heart attack on 30 August 1981 whilst we were touring on the Isle of Skye and he is buried there in the cemetery at Portree.
Happy Birthday Daddy. We miss you.