Driving over to Cellardyke today I noticed that as you approach some towns, on the countdown to the 30 mph sign there are rumble-strips on the road: at 300m there are three strips, at 200m two, and one at 100m before you enter the town. It’s like braille for cars!
Jane and I drove over to Cellardyke in two cars, in convey, with our sofa-bed split between us, disassembled, like some comfy Frankenstein’s monster. Thanks to (an inheritance of) Dad’s socket set I was able to reassemble the settee in time for lunch and watching the rugby. It was a very poor TV signal, it looked as though Scotland had lost.
It was a rather lazy day in the house this afternoon: I reassembled the sofa-bed, we hung a picture, we cleared away the carpet offcuts, I hoovered, Jane filled the dishwasher … we packed the cars and came home. Not long before we’ll be able to stay there overnight, and not have to pack up the car with pots and pans, tools and a vacuum cleaner, a stereo and a host of other heavy objects. Soon.
But then there’s the garden to sort out …
Today would have been my Dad’s 60th birthday; he died 0n 4 January 1998, aged 52.
This is the last photograph taken of our family before Dad died; it was taken on Christmas Day, 1997
Jane and I sang happy birthday to him, in bed this morning before we got up. Just as I sang “Happy Birthday dead daddy …” my clock-radio switched itself off, having been on for the duration of its 59 minutes ‘sleep’ function.
“Oh, he didn’t like that,” said Jane.
“I think he would have laughed,” I replied. Dad had a wonderful, irreverent sense of humour much influenced by The Goons and Tony Hancock. Dad had a mix of love for both the arts and science. He was an engineer by training, and had a gift for rationalizing projects, finding the most efficient, cost-effective solution for a particular problem. But he also had a passion for acting, and music, being a member of about every drama organisation in Selkirk, and of the Selkirk Pipe Band (not bad for someone born in Nottingham). I learned a lot from him. I miss him.
So, happy birthday dad — I hope you’re having a party in heaven, and finally got to meet Abraham Lincoln (whose birthday it is, also, today).