A dad with dash – and a green mous­tache

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

IAM of­ten asked for more in­for­ma­tion about Mr F, so, with Fa­ther’s Day com­ing up, I’m hand­ing over this week to Fisher Ju­nior (FJ) to fill you in... When I was young I thought my dad’s mous­tache was green. I have no idea why, but when I drew pic­tures of our fam­ily he al­ways had a green mous­tache.

He was a bril­liant sto­ry­teller and al­ways used to read to me at bed­time, de­spite the fact that my mum was a teacher and would have been the nat­u­ral choice. He would put on a va­ri­ety of stupid voices and also as­sign strange noises to each punc­tu­a­tion mark... help­ing me to learn where the full stops and com­mas were meant to sit in a sen­tence.

When I was older, the sto­ry­telling was re­placed by A level re­vi­sion. My dad spent hours coach­ing me through my notes, again punc­tu­at­ing the work with a va­ri­ety of silly plops and whoops. I can­not look at so­ci­ol­ogy re­search even now with­out hear­ing his per­for­mance.

My dad, like many dads, had an am­biva­lent re­la­tion­ship with our many pets. Not given to public dis­plays of af­fec­tion, he nev­er­the­less could be seen or heard tend­ing to their emo­tional needs when he thought no­body was within earshot.

He also had a party piece where he would crouch down in our long thin liv­ing room and Sam, our Shet­land sheep dog, would run up and leap over him. Sam would typ­i­cally man­age about two suc­cess­ful jumps be­fore los­ing mo­men­tum, crash­ing into his hu­man hur­dle, and giv­ing up em­bar­rassed.

My dad was the one who would walk the dogs in all weath­ers. He braved de­press­ing wait­ing rooms at the vets and was the one who dealt sto­ically with the in­evitable end, once rush­ing home from work to scrape a cold stiff cat into a C&A bag to bury in the gar­den.

An anx­ious child, I was al­ways con­vinced that if he was ten min­utes late home there had been a train crash at Padding­ton.

When he fell off a swing in Corn­wall and broke his fin­ger it was scary to see him sit­ting in A&E.

When he sliced his foot on the lawn mower and I heard a par­tic­u­lar swear word for the first time I thought his foot would fall off. But he is still here. And with both feet.

So… Happy Fa­ther’s Day Dad!

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