5 August 2013


My father and my oldest brother were both born on August 5th. In Dad's case it was 1914 and in Paul's case it was 1947. If Dad had still been alive he would have been ninety nine today and Paul would have been sixty six. They were both wonderful, kind and intelligent men who had real passion for life and I'm proud that I swim in the same gene pool as them but apprehensive about the fact that  it was the pumping heart that failed them both.

Hard to believe that it was the summer of 1979 when I last sat with Dad in the"The Duke of York" pub in Skirlaugh and reviewed my last year of teaching and his first year of retirement from the teaching profession. We had become good friends. There was more to it than father and son. At his funeral I wanted to sing like a bird but my voice fractured and quavered, ruining the hymn tunes. And the village church was packed.

And Paul, dear Paul. Gregarious, multi-talented, impatient, excessive, obsessive, a treasure house of jokes and songs and anecdotes.He played his violin like the Fiddler of Doolin, sawing away into the early hours as the Irish rain pelted down like stair-rods in a velvet black darkness.

I know that they both loved me dearly and tonight I am missing them both. What I would give for one more evening. The Guinness, the memories, the laughter. Just glad to be alive. Dad...Paul I am toasting you with a can of "Lowenstein" lager from "Aldi" as I sit at this computer, tapping away before bedtime. Sweet dreams...
Dad, Paul and Mum - probably in the summer of 1949


  1. Beautiful memories Sir YP. 99 huh? My Dad would have been 74 this year and he too died of heart disease.

  2. A beautiful and moving tribute to their memory. I was never really close to my Dad in way you describe. He was so much older than me. But I had, and still do, a great respect for him. My oldest brother was to me like Paul was to you. My life is infinitely richer because of him and I am ever so grateful for all the time I got to spend with him.

  3. A very sad day for you.
    I empathize.

  4. A sad, but some how lovely, loving post.

    Leo men... a special breed, Paul born just 9 days before me, your Dad 33 years and 9 days.

    Darling broth of a boy, remember them and be happy, not sad. Celebrate their memories and the magical times you all shared. With huge hearts, I'm sure your larger than life Leo's would rib you and jolly you along to brighten your sadness.

    Step out with brightness, walk with the feel of happy, shared times with the two great men, who in their different ways made you the man you are today.


  5. A lovely post and tribute to them both, YP. They live on in your memories.

  6. A moving post. My condolences to you, Neil. These are losses from which one never recovers, though the passing of time does lessen the pain somewhat. The passing of our loved ones leaves great holes in our lives.

  7. What a lovely post Tom. My father just turned 75 yesterday on the 5th, so another great man was born on Aug. 5th.
    I am a daddy's girl, in a tomboyish sort of way, he and I were always working on something together when I was growing up. It's hard to watch them age and leave us. I am lucky to have mine with me for a bit yet.
    Your father and brother sound like wonderful men.

  8. CAROL, HELEN, DAVID OLIVER, ADRIAN, LETTICE LEAF, JENNYTA, RHYMES WITH, KELLY... We may only be blogging cyber-friends but I recognise the genuine nature of your kind thoughts. Thank you. I appreciate that you have also lost people along the way. It's part of what it means to be human.

  9. A lovely tribute to their Memory.....can feel the love for them both. My Partner of 25yrs had a Heart attack on 9th July,now recovering,and he is so lucky to be here.He is an avid walker like yourself, and the previous evening had walked at Stanage Edge for 3/4hrs. He has looked after me for the last 2yrs as I went through Cancer treatment....now we have to take care of each other!

  10. AILEEN Thanks for calling by again and I hope your longtime partner's health continues to improve. I'll look out for him - plodding through the lovely countryside around our city.


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