5 August 2021

5th

Dad and Paul at Filey in 1949

If my father, Philip, had not died back in 1979, he would have been 107 years old today. If my oldest brother, Paul Philip, had not died back in 2010 he would have been 74 years old today. 

They were both good men who embraced life. They were participants, not bystanders and they were each blessed with a range of talents.

In his youth, my father played both rugby and cricket to a decent standard. He had a good tenor voice and sang in choirs. He taught himself how to develop and print photographs and passed that knowledge on to me. He was a church warden and the driving force behind the establishment of playing fields and a sports club in the village of my birth. As the headmaster of the village school, he helped many people in many different ways long after they had left school. No wonder that at his funeral there was standing room only in Holy Trinity Church. He was respected and loved.

My brother Paul was a brilliant musician with a fine memory for tunes and songs. He excelled on the Irish fiddle and like my father had a fine singing voice. In his youth he was good at rowing, rock climbing and karate. He could speak French and German quite fluently and before his untimely death he was becoming pretty competent in modern Greek too. He drank like a fish and smoked like a chimney and found interest in everyone he met though he was disinterested in  status and wealth. No wonder that at his funeral there was standing room only in Kilfenora Church, County Clare, Ireland. He was respected and loved.

Our son, Ian Philip, should have been born on August 5th 1984. That was his due date but he delayed his entry to the world by eight days arriving on August 13th of that year. Kind and loyal, Ian is a hard worker who thinks positively about his "journey". In recent years, Shirley and I have been enormously proud of his ongoing work as a vegan cook, writer and influencer. It is wonderful to be able to turn your passion into your livelihood and that is what Ian has done through "Bosh!".

August 5th is one of the most meaningful dates in the calendar for me. A time to remember with affection my father and my oldest brother and to smile about the possibility that Ian could so easily have been born on the same auspicious date.

Ian (left) with Henry (right) and Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia fame in the middle

43 comments:

  1. What a lovely reckoning of August 5th with many good memories as well as possibilities for the future!

    I don't know how you feel about it, but I found the death of a sibling to be especially difficult.

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    1. Losing Paul...it remains heartbreaking Kelly.

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  2. The stories of other lives wind us in, and weave a tapestry.
    Many never know their father, or have a broken relationship with him.
    Philip and Paul Philip: Such fine names, and they leave behind a debt of gratitude.

    I am reminded of a scene in *Tender is the Night*, Book 2 chapter 19.
    Dr. Dick Diver returns from Europe to bury his father, travelling to Buffalo and then by train to Virginia. With the last tie broken, he sails away from his homeland, sure that he will never return.
    *Good-bye, my father - good-bye, all my fathers.*

    Haggerty

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    1. Thanks for sharing that apposite literary echo.

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    2. All day in the one chair
      From dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I have ranged
      In rambling talk with an image of air:
      Vague memories, nothing but memories.

      W.B. Yeats. The Wild Swans at Coole 1919.
      Haggerty

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    3. Oh how I loved Yeats's writing and I have even visited what remains of Coole Park. Those four lines are just right.

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  3. Your family seem to have very strong male characters who have carved an everlasting place in the world as well as in your memory. Although, he arrived "late", Ian was well worth the wait, I am sure.

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    1. Ian remains and will always be our lovely boy. The best son I could have wished for.

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  4. This really is a meaningful day for you and your family. I hope it's not too sad for you, though. Theasby men seem to be smart, loyal, and loved. That's a great legacy!

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    1. Thanks for your kind reflection Jennifer.

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  5. Three generations of family success. Great memories. Thanks for sharing them with us YP.

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  6. The loss of any immediate family member is incredibly hard to bear, but you do have very good, happy memories of your father and brother. Long may you cherish them.

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    1. I remember them sweetly for there were no skeletons. What you saw was what you got. Decency and a zest for life.

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  7. A banner day, for sure -- and a great opportunity to rekindle those essential memories.

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  8. A lovely post, full of vivid memories. My birthday is August 12 and my late husband's was the 14th. My parents' anniversary is the 7th. (this year will be the first one my mom spends alone)

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    1. Sounds like early August is special to you too Margaret. Happy Birthday for the 12th/. How young will you be?

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    2. I will be 65. My late husband would have been 68 and my parents would have been married for 67 years. August is indeed an important month for my family as it is for yours.

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    3. 65? You are just a young lass Margaret!

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  9. You made smile today. There are good people in the world, or at least in Yorkshire. I love that photo of your dad and your brother.

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    1. The photo seems to come from ancient history.

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  10. Such a fine tribute to some very fine men. I am sure that your father and your brother must have loved you very much. Such sorrow that they are gone but I'm sure you carry a quiet pride and gratefulness for their lives.

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    1. There were no skeletons hidden in their cupboards. What you saw was what you got. I remember them sweetly.

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  11. There is a strong resemblance between Baby Paul and Baby Phoebe, which may also mean there is a remarkable resemblance between Baby Neil and Baby Phoebe as well.

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    1. Baby Neil? Is that something like Babe Ruth? (If you did not know, he was a famous American baseball player).

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  12. You have a right to take pride. Your brother's death was sadly at a very young age.

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    Replies
    1. He was sixty two and it was very unexpected. He died in his sleep.

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  13. Ian and his Bosh partner are being shown here on TV. I watched and enjoyed the show.

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    1. It would be great if a TV company would commission a second series but there's no sign of that right now.

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  14. You are the third blogger i know whose Dad was born on August 5th!

    It's good to have good memories of people who lived and loved well

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    1. I remember them sweetly. Nothing unpleasant was hidden in brackets.

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  15. We stop and remember on these special days. You described your brother nd father very well. I can see why they were well liked.

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  16. I find it amusing that our dear Papas had the same birthdays. They both sound like gooduns too.

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    1. If I had called my dad "Papa" he would have given me a clout.

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  17. A wonderful tribute to two wonderful men.
    Without the one, you and then Ian would never have existed. Without the other, you still keenly feel his loss. You know how close my sister and I are; if she were to die before me, it would be very hard to bear.

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    1. Don't worry Meike. You and your sister will live forever.

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  18. What a fitting tribute to two fine men. It's not everyone who can speak with such genuine love about their family. It's just so sad that Paul died young.
    I have one of those old fashioned birthday planners, similar in style to a calendar. Strangely, August is the only month of the whole year that hasn't got a single birthday marked on it - I've just checked!

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    1. When is your birthday Carol? (But please don't expect flowers from me!)

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  19. A loving tribute to good men. Like your father and brother, my son, Seth, shares his birthday (August 3) with his son, Isaac. One turned 40. The other 4. Like your Ian, my son is one of the good ones and my grandson--a sweet child. We are blessed.

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  20. What a beautiful post Neil. You look so much like your dad too.

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  21. We both wrote about family today but yours is much closer to home.

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