Monday, May 9, 2011

Special day...

My Pa is 83 today.
He still seems to have all his marbles.
Is slightly deaf, especially when listening to my Ma.
Loves chocolate, crosswords, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.
Still telling the same jokes.
Is a clever man who underachieved. Only ever had jobs, never a career.
Visits the bookies everyday, and states 'I had some bad luck yesterday..'.
Slips me a fiver now and again and says 'don't tell your mother..'
My mother says 'If he gives you any money then take it...otherwise the bookies will have it...'
Has never eaten an avocado, or as far as I know strayed too far from meat and two veg with white bread and a mug of tea. With evap.
Although I know he has tales from his youth, pre mom, that I would love to hear, he is a quiet chap who is happy in his own company.
Wipes his mouth on the tea towel, which drives us all mad.
Has a very quick and bad temper, but over the years has mellowed and seems now to be more accepting of life and its irritations and has learned to shrug and stay calm.
Hates getting older but insists that getting older is 'better than the alternative..'
Discovered gardening late in life (and many years of ma nagging him) and keeps a neat, if rather too uniform, garden. His line of single daffodils evenly spaced along the fence, pleases him greatly and puzzles the rest of us......a more natural flower arrangement would look messy to him.
Wears a cap when he leaves the house.
Used to drink. A lot. Would sing. Then sleep.
Can be impulsive.
Would like to travel to Seattle to see my brother and visit his great grandchildren, but my ma won't travel and he won't leave ma.
Has large hands. Is tall. Can look very smart to go out but can wear the same shabby cardigan for days at home. Needs to be reminded to shower more than a couple of times a week.
Loves his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and smiles so when he mentions them.
Thinks the price of things these days is shocking. Looks a bit uncomfortable if we suggest eating out anywhere other than a wetherspoons.
Many many many years ago he stood as a Labour candidate in a staunchly Conservative ward....lost by a very small margin.
Worked all over the UK as a young man in theatres, behind the scenes, wardrobe, lighting, scenery, running and dresser to Beryl Reid and straight guy for Hal Monty.
Holds his hands together behind his back when walking, and is happy by the sea.
Loves my Ma.........although the feeling is not mutual.
Currently has a chest infection and is a bit slower on his feet these days.
For many years when we were small, on his birthday we would give him cigarettes, socks and a biro.....don't know why, it just became a sort of family joke.
He gave up smoking 25 years ago, and now hardly ever drinks. Never drank at home and never drank shorts. Beer was his drink of choice.
Loves words, and spelling them out to me, showing me how clever he is.
Sticks his chin out when thinking.


Is my dad.

Happy birthday pa....x

14 comments:

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

This is quite beautiful Libby.

Happy Birthday to your Pa x

auntiegwen said...

A lovely tribute from a lovely daughter, many happy returns from us xxxxx

Steve said...

He sounds a wonderful man.

CATHERINE DANIEL said...

Lovely tribute - My dad's 84 (I think!) tomorrow and has a lot in common with yours. What is this thing with Weatherspoons!! And supermarket cafes!

libby said...

I am a bad daughter..he is 84 today! The mister took him for a drink while I stayed home and had a fight with ma before taking her to her gp appt., - bet that raised her blood pressure...I know it did mine....ho hum.
Thank you for the smashing comments......you are all very lovely people.

Nana Go-Go said...

My Dad would`ve been 78 the other week were he still with us so it`s great to hear about your Dad still going strong - he sounds a character! My Dad was tall and had big hands too. He was studying for his Higher English before he went so he also loved words. Happy Birthday to your Da. x

Marcheline said...

What a great post - happy birthday to your Dad! Made me sad when you said the feeling was not mutual, though. And I'm glad he never drank shorts. That would just be gross.

Macy said...

That'll be a celebratory dinner at Weatherspoons then??

libby said...

Well Macy - no dinner out but gave him a couple of big toblerones to munch on for last night and he seemed happy!
Marcheline...sadly it is a one way relationship.
Nana....sorry you don't have your pa x

sensibilia said...

A great portrait of your dad. It's important to celebrate the old. My mother would be 87 this July, if she were still here. My dad would be 106 the same month, if he were still here! Sadly, they both died a long time ago. I didn't take enough notice of them when they were around. Sometimes, I feel actual physical pain when I think of the thoughtless way I treated my mother, in particular.

Madame DeFarge said...

What a wonderful way to describe him. Such love in the words, very moving.

libby said...

Sensibilia, please don't berate yourself for thoughtless past behaviour....it is gone...we all have regrets...focus on good memories.
Madame, thank you.

sensibilia said...

Thanks for your kind words, Libby.

Deer Baby said...

A really great portrait of your Dad. Just a little bit older than mine. He sounds a real character. Like the bit about him slipping you a fiver and saying 'don't tell your ma.'