Memories of Dad
Dad was always the problem solver. Always a doer. He never stopped, he was always helping others. He didn't like people making a fuss at all. Dad was always saying, ‘wait' or ‘slow down' or ‘you're going too fast'. He'd still be saying that now about his own funeral and rolling his eyes if he could hear all the wonderful things said about him.
As a child Dad would read us Roald Dahl stories including The Twits, George's Marvellous Medicine, Fantastic Mr. Fox and the BFG. He would bring the characters to life and of course as children we found the ‘whizz popping' from the BFG hilarious as Dad read the story. When on long car journeys we'd listen to a recording of fantastic Mr Fox while Dad drove us to our holiday destination or on days out walking in the Dales.
I remember on one summer holiday down in Saundersfoot, Dad thought he'd have a go at doing a bbq for the first time. So, he purchased a disposable bbq and off we went through the woods from the caravan site to the beach armed with said disposable bbq, sausages and burgers. Dad set up the bbq on some rocks and proceeded to light it. Of course, we hadn't quite expected so much smoke, which became even worse as sausage and burgers were added and became rather charred and burnt. However, this was the start of the bbq days, and Dad entered a competition with the Lancashire Evening Post. He'd forgotten all about the competition until a phone call was received to say he'd won, and the prize was a bbq. Dad's first few attempts with the BBQ involved lots of smoke and flames shooting up from the bbq while using a blow lamp to try and keep it lit. Needless to say, the food was somewhat incinerated. Eventually, Dad became quite a pro in the end with the bbq and learned various techniques. We went on a camping holiday in Loch Lomond, and Dad would cook some lovely meals on the bbq. To the point that fellow campers were in awe as he cooked a whole leg of lamb on the bbq - and no blow lamp in sight - perfectly cooked.
Dad did like to have some fun and could be quite mischievous. While on holiday in Menorca there had been an incident where part of one of the balconies had broken away and had fallen on to the terrace below. The area had been taped off. As the day went on Dad and I thought it would be amusing for someone to use a piece of chalk and draw around someone lying on the ground inside the taped area where the rubble was. Of course it didn't take much for Dad to persuade one of the waiters to oblige. Dad drew around the waiter on the ground, and ran back to the table a quickly as he could. That provided much entertainment as people crowded on to the terrace wondering what terrible thing must have happened and coming up with all kinds of theories.
Dad was my hero and I've learned so much from him over the years. I will miss him terribly, but the memories, I'll have forever and will cherish those.