…tomorrow is Queen’s Day and I can’t wait to check out the city as it turns into a giant street market to backdrop of soundsystems on every corner and then hang out with friend and enjoying the sun and the festivities. Expect lots of posts on Sunday!
I want to thank everyone for their kind words of support for my father. I’m still always amazed by the kindness of strangers…and they say it’s a cruel world?
So I’m going back to Ireland for a few days to see my old man who just got out of hospital after having a 4 hour long operation to clear the 90% blocked artery to his brain which caused to have a stroke.
My dad did it all:
he was born in war time Belgium and didn’t meet his own dad until he was 5 years old because my grandfather was the escapes officer in a German POW camp and refused to leave himself until he could see every man there out safely. He was educated in a British boarding school in the 1950s and “jumped the wall” to go see Louis Armstrong play in Leicester city, facing corporal punishment and expulsion if caught. He hitchhiked around Europe before there were motorways. He rode a motorcycle from Brussels to Belgrade the day after he got a motorcycle license. He drove a car from Brussels to Stockholm the day after he got his car license. He was a tank commander in the Belgian army. He was involved in a french paramilitary organisation during the 1960s, ferrying wanted men from Barcelona to Belgium in his car. During the 70s and 80s he managed several thousand people as operations manager of several large transport companies. I learnt everything I know about fine wine and food from him…what he doesn’t know about these things isn’t worth knowing.
He thought me respect for all others. He thought me respect for myself. He raised me as an equal after my mom died when I was only 9 years old.
I love my father.
However, he lived his life as if there was no tomorrow. It has all caught up with him in recent years: 2 heart attacks, a quintuple heart bypass, type 2 diabetes and now a crippling stroke just one month after he retired at the age of 70.
It’s a reminder to me to enjoy life…but to think about my health, my future and those I love.