Dad

My dad with me a few days after I was born in 1971

Today marks exactly 26 years since my father, Keith J Saunders, died. I still miss him every day. What I would give to have one last hug from him.

Dad died from kidney failure aged 52 years, 10 months and 23 days . I reach the exact same age as him this autumn. That has been a sobering thought as I approached my 52nd birthday in November.

Today my thought, however, have been on the happy moments that we had together. Those ordinary every day interactions and conversations, before the dementia started stripping away large chunks of what made him who he was.

I love you Dad!

The Photon Connection—40 years on

Image of a red phone handset with light coming from the earpiece. With the text: The Photon Connection - The 1982/83 IEE Faraday Lecture presented by Standard Telephones and Cables PLC.
Promotional poster for The Photon Connection

Forty years ago today (5 October 1982), my father Keith Saunders presented the first of fifteen IEE Faraday lectures on behalf of Standard Telephones & Cables (STC) during a six-month UK tour.

It was during this tour that Dad collapsed having just delivered the lecture in his hometown of Nottingham. But that’s a whole other story.

Continue reading The Photon Connection—40 years on

Beware the Ides of March

My dad (right) with his colleague David Brown on the set of the 1982–1983 IEE Faraday Lecture

“Beware the Ides of March!” So, Shakespeare’s soothsayer warns Julius Caesar in his play. It is a phrase now etched into the history of my family.

Today marks the 39th anniversary of my late father, Keith John Saunders, collapsing with what turned out to be the first of three brain haemorrages, on Tuesday 15 March 1983.

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Beware the Ides of March

My dad, through the years until shortly after his illness in 1983

Last week, I realised that it was exactly 38 years since my father had his first of three subarachnoid brain haemorrhages. He was 38 years old.

This has been the first anniversary of Dad’s first haemorrhage without Mum which is maybe why I’m writing about it now. I’ve also been scanning a lot of photos from my Mum’s collection which is helping piece together some of the puzzle.

The soothsayer in Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar warned the Roman emperor about the 15th of March, “Beware the Ides of March”. It’s a phrase that took on a very real meaning for our family.

On Tuesday 15 March 1983, my father Keith Saunders was in his birthplace of Nottingham to deliver the 1982/83 IEE Faraday lecture The Photon Connection about how fibre optics (light) would revolutionise communications. Shortly after he had stepped off the stage in Nottingham (I think it was at the Royal Concert Hall) he was giving an interview to the BBC about the lecture tour when he suddenly felt very ill. He turned, vomited and collapsed onto the floor. (I’ve often thought, somewhere, at some point, the BBC had footage of my dad vomiting!)

It had begun as an ordinary Tuesday in March but one that changed all of our lives forever.

Continue reading Beware the Ides of March

Mum and dad on Highway

A couple of weeks ago I sent a bunch of video cassettes to Digital Converters to be converted to a digital format that I could view and edit on my PC.

Among the cassettes was one featuring this episode of Highway featuring my mum and dad.

Continue reading Mum and dad on Highway