Today being Father's Day and none of the four of us being young enough to still have a father (oldest 98 and youngest 73) we went out to lunch in our usual place at our usual time. It did seem as though the vast majority of the other tables were occupied by folk bring their fathers out for Sunday lunch as a treat.
But it is a good time to recall our Dads even though mine has long gone. I had a very happy childhood and loved both my parents. But because my mother was in her mid forties when I was born (I had a sister twenty two years older than me) my father took special interest in me - possibly to lessen the work load of bringing me up for my mother.
Many of my interests hark back as far as those days. He had a shelf or two of Poetry books by his arm chair (I have them now) and often quoted poems to me. I have never lost my love of poetry.
He loved walking in the countryside (we lived in what was then a small village in Lincolnshire, a village on the banks of the River Witham which eventually flows into the Wash.) And he loved all kinds of wild life and natural history so that we would walk along identifying wild flowers and grasses, listening for bird song and looking where the birds were nesting.
He was a mild-mannered man and never raised his voice or as far as I can remember reprimanded me (he left that kind of thing to my mother). I think of him every day and whenever I see a familiar wild flower - or even many of the garden flowers I am growing again now - I try to remember the Latin name (which he was fond of quoting).
So thanks Dad for contributing so much to the full and rich life I have managed to have and wherever you are now - Happy memories on Father's Day.