The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Days Of Significance …
January 15, 2010, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

So given I’m a sentimental old fart, this weekend is quite interesting for me …

You see tomorrow is the 11th anniversary since my Dad died and on Sunday, it’s a year since I moved to Hong Kong.

I find it amazing how quick time flies [and not just when you’re having fun!] and I also find it amazing how much detail you can remember when you really think about it.

OK … so a parent dying is pretty bloody significant and we all know the brain loves to play ‘director’ with your memories … however there are certain things from both events that I can remember like it’s happening in real time.

Anyway, whilst the HK experience has been great fun … I still find my Dad’s anniversary pretty hard to handle … however instead of doing the usual and writing a post about that horrible time, I’m going to write something happy … something that will flood my mind with good thoughts … something that will give you get a glimpse of my life with my Dad.

Saying that, I should warn you this is going to be very indulgent, exceedingly sentimental and saccharine infused, so if you don’t want to go any further I totally understand.

It was a Sunday evening.

I’m not exactly sure what time – hell, I’m not even sure what year – but I do know it was evening, he was sitting in the brown rocking chair in the lounge and I was sitting on his knee in my pyjamas. Infact, if memory serves me, I think it was during the school holidays – or more precisely – towards the end of the school holidays and I was probably giving him a kiss goodnight before I went to bed.

Anyway, as was the norm, we would have a chat before I went upstairs.

We’d talk about our day … what we’d done, what we liked, what we wanted to do and there’d always be lots of laughter, hugs and kisses.

Now while that might not sound like the sort of ‘Father and son’ time you see in ads or Hollywood movies … these moments were always a magical time of bonding and love and I would go to bed feeling warm and happy.

I can’t quite remember how the subject came up, but I do remember that at some point I showed my dad a picture of a mail order digital clock radio that was being advertised in one of the Sunday Newspaper magazines we got delivered.

It was small and white with rounded edges and had a couple of miniature dials and switches on the top that controlled the frequency, volume and whether you woke up to the radio or the alarm in the morning.

It even had a button called ‘SLEEP’ that turned the radio off all by itself.

ALL BY ITSELF!!! If that’s not technology from the 3rd dimension, I don’t know what is!

Now what you have to understand – apart from this being many, many, many years ago – is that because of my tender years and the fact my family didn’t have much cash, my only exposure to this sort of next generation technology came from scouring the Argos/Kay’s catalogue [which were like bibles to me] or when I went to Paul’s house, because his parents were loaded and even had 2 [TWO!!!!] cars.

[I’ll quickly ignore the fact one was a Brown Volvo estate and the other an Orange VW Beetle!]

Anyway, this clock radio captured my imagination.

I must have looked at that ad in the magazine a thousand times … reading and re-reading every word like it was the secret to life … and so when my Dad and I were having our nightly ‘chat’, I brought up the subject of this amazing thing I’d seen – an amazing thing from thousands of years in future that somehow was available in the Sunday Telegraph magazine!

Believe it or not, this wasn’t some strategy to get him to buy it for me – that wasn’t how my parents worked and besides, it cost SEVEN POUNDS 95 PENCE [+ two pounds packing and package] – I did it because I was genuinely captivated by it all and happily rabbited on about every feature and detail for ages, confident he would be as astounded by it all, as I had been.

Now of course this product wasn’t new to him – he might not of had much cash, but he was very aware of what was going on in consumerland – and yet despite all this, he looked at me like every word being spoken was the most interesting and exciting thing he’d ever heard.

I can see his eyes now.

His big, kind, lovely blue eyes …


Anyway, so I went on about this radio, telling him about the ‘SLEEP’ feature when out of the blue, he said, “Would you like it?”

I couldn’t even comprehend the question. I didn’t get things like this … not unless it was my birthday or Christmas and even then, seven pounds 95 pence [+ two pounds packing and package] was a fortune, you could buy houses or cars for that couldn’t you???

So there was a very long pause as I considered everything and then, plucking up the courage to be so bold, started to nod my head vigorously.

After a couple of seconds I looked at my Dad and realised he was staring intently at my face … staring at me like I was the most precious and beautiful thing in his World … and then I felt his hand by the side of my face, gently caressing my cheek before saying, “OK my sweet boy, we’ll see what we can do”.

And it was at that point I didn’t care whether I got this magical clock radio or not – I just loved being with my Dad … my Dad who listened, communicated, cared and loved.

And that is why I miss him so much.

17 Comments so far
Leave a comment

He sounds wonderful

Comment by Angus

That is a very beautiful story Robert.
Warm hugs and kisses to you and your Mother from all of us.
Come visit us soon.

Comment by Katerina

If you think this is going to stop me making a sarcastic comment, you’d be right.

Comment by John

you beautiful bastard. look after yourself and mummy campbell this weekend but if you find time if you could have a quiet word in your bullying neighbours earhole youd be doing us a big fucking headache saving favour especially your pensions. no rush, know how tough this weekend is but by monday would be good.

ps; its a fucking joke k so dont call and bollocks me. im taking his mind off things its what friends do in the free world.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ve let a couple of events over the last few days affect my perspective and this gentle post has helped jolt my priorities back into view.
Your Dad was a great man and a wonderful father but his son isn’t too shabby either. Best wishes to you and your Mum this weekend from all of us.

Comment by George

I think your dad would be honored by this honor and I’m glad you let us read it. You were quite sweet as a kid weren’t you. Then I’m presuming you met Andy. LOL.

Comment by Pete

A very touching post Robert. I hope my children will talk about me in a similar fashion when I am gone. Regards to you and your Mother.

Comment by Lee Hill

You know a post is touching when even Andy struggles to make a sarcastic comment.

He always sounds like a great man.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I didn’t write this post to get comments – I did it because it was something I felt I needed/wanted to do … however all your nice comments, calls, emails and SMS’s were very wonderful to receive and I thank you all.

Have a great weekend.

Comment by Rob

Just felt the urge to share this after reading your post.

Comment by Denial

If you’re half the man he was, you’ll do OK

Comment by northern

That’s a lovely story Rob. You must miss him so.

Comment by Anjali Ramachandran

Underneath it all he did good with you.
I’ll have a drink for him.

Comment by Billy Whizz

That’s the problem NP, I’m not even a 1/4 … but he did set the bar pretty high so maybe there’s a little hope for me.

Thanks again to everyone for the wishes.

Comment by Rob

I love him.

Comment by Marcus

[…] Maybe it’s all to do with being an only child or something … an incessant need to get what I want, despite the fact I never managed to achieve that when I was a kid – except for the Raleigh Grifter and Digital Clock Radio. […]

Pingback by You Know You’re Over 40 When … « The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

[…] could see my old clock radio when I was in the ‘small bedroom’ and my big stereo when I got ‘upgraded’ […]

Pingback by It’s Time To Say Goodbye … | The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Leave a Reply