Pops , you haven’t got a present this year (I know this won’t bother you in the slightest, one of the reasons why I love you) so here’s a little bit of writing instead.
On racking that dusty old brain I came up with a big list of great memories. Here’s just a small selection.
Teaching me how to ride my bike: This must be my earliest memory of you. I don’t remember all that much about living at Bulmushe Road in Reading, but I do remember this moment. The moment where you let go. You didn’t mention it until I said, ‘Daddy are you holding on still?’ ‘No, you’re are going all by yourself Kels!’, your voice cracking with pride. (I just made that last bit up, but I’m sure it must have been ;-))
Water fights: These occurred back in the days when we used to have proper, scorching hot, endless summers. These water fights involved super soakers, hoses and measuring jugs full of water. The jugs were poured from the upstairs window on to unsuspecting players down below. It was a sneaky move that got us over and over again. Can you remember the perpetrator?!
Hot dogs: Now you will have to correct me if my memory is failing me here, but as I remember it, when staying with you Dan and I were to expect one of two culinary delights: There were the frankfurters, served straight out of the tin with the obligatory tomato sauce to accompany them. The other was peanut butter on toast. You didn’t bother with plates, we just all ate from the communal tree shaped chopping board. These nutritional meals were always washed down with a healthy sized wedge of Artic Roll. I’m glad your skills in the kitchen have improved somewhat in the last few years.
Teaching me how to catch: ‘Now Kels, EYE ON THE BALL. Got it. Are you ready?’ God I can only appreciate how frustrating this must have been now I’m trying to teach The Whirlwind. She has unfortunately inherited my (lack of) ball skills.
Friday Night Discos at Wedgewood Court: There might only have been three guests attending this particular venue, but this was the place to be. We were introduced to all sorts of disco classics here, but for some reason it’s this one that sticks in my mind:
We have got the power
To build the highest tower
Standing with our feet on the ground
We’ve got what it takes
Together we can make it
Together we can blow the house down
Reading: You and me, aged 5,6,7, 8, 9….. on the sofa on the landing, reading. You and Mum instilled a love for reading and books which will always be a part of me.
Holiday journals: All the other kids were out playing. I was sitting at the table in tears being ‘forced’ to finish my journal entry for that day. Do I appreciate it all these years on and do I still have the said journals? Of course. Will I be making my kids do the same? Hell yeah.
These are just a few of my happy memories. Thank you Pops for these and all the other millions I haven’t written about.
Now as I said, no present I’m afraid. But hopefully you received my card. Rest assured I did read your blog on 'ten things not to put up with' and I steered clear of that particular celebratory card company with the orange logo and saved myself about 3 quid!
Loads of love,