Somewhere between honouring my own father and the concept of honouring fatherhood itself, I am going to survey all the things I like about men today. Quietly, and to myself. I also took Stefan his coffee, but I think this is a day for the children to make a fuss of him, and for me to step back.
My dad died eight years ago, after catching pneumonia crossing the Nullabor Plain. The most poignant thing sitting here today is remembering how as children we would compare our hands to his – mine are identical. I can see him in the set of my elder son’s head and shoulders, and in my brothers. When I get hot and cross in the middle of some project I can look up and catch my face with just his expression – crazed, with glasses slipping. He introduced me to classical music, the Periodic Table, and tried with maths, really tried… He loved to walk, and go out on the harbour. If he ever put on weight he dieted systematically and with success. When he was in intensive care on his birthday, the nurses put Johnny Walker Black Label in his tube for him – he loved that!
I will clean the cameras of salt – they are sealed so I’m not worried about the workings, but the exteriors need a wipe and a vacuum. Did I mention I have a special teeny attachment with brushes and nozzles, just for equipment? And the boys are taking us out for lunch.