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by Viv

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I'm here because it's a place where I want to be.

What do I do with my life - still pondering that, keep exploring the possibilities I suppose...

I do have another more personal moblog Vivupclose

Take a look at my daughter Beth's website...

food for thought...

Everyone, in some small sacred sanctuary of the self, is nuts. -Leo Rosten, author (1908-1997)

We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry. -John Webster, playwright (c. 1580-1634)

There are two kinds of light -- the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)

The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and he does it without destroying something else. -John Updike, writer (1932-2009)

Some people become so expert at reading between the lines they don't read the lines. -Margaret Millar, novelist (1915-1994)

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

Thanks to A THOUGHT FOR TODAY
from A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

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Alan's Goodbye - Beth's words

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Do you ever find that there are certain words that you hardly ever hear used that you’ll come across one day only to hear again and again within the space of a week?

Well since dad has gone, the unusual word of the week has been ‘raconteur.’

Dad really was a storyteller. Each tale considered carefully – the pre-amble, the sequence of events and timing all exacted in such a way to deliver the best punchline..the final act.

Dad was a slick story engine, always raring to go and once he’d found the suitable story for the occasion there was no stopping him, even if you’d said you’d heard it before.

When dad got sick this final time, to people who asked me how he was doing, I quipped that he’d stopped repeating the same old anecdotes as if this was a symptom of his illness.

But his stories did return before we said goodbye and I spent a wonderful day listening to dad tell all his stories about winding Ken and Ian up with the help of his friends. I didn’t leave his side all day.

Dad was a hoarder. Our house is full of objects and props for an impromptu story.

“Where did you get the scary priest carving dad?“

“What is the Adnams 72 club?”

“Tell me again about the crest above the fireplace”

All these objects imbued with a bit of magic, an important time and place.

And many of you were the cast of dad’s legends, some people I’ve hardly ever met all so real through the power of the stories dad told about you. Dad was loyal of course and would speak as fondly of people he hadn’t seen for many years as those he saw on a regular basis. So some of you who have phoned over the past few weeks, might have been surprised I greeted you so warmly when you thought I might not know you. Not true, you were the stars of dad’s biography.

Oh dad. When I got home, all the clocks had stopped.

It was too quiet, no you in the chair by the fire. So I took on your clock-winding responsibility. It took me 6 attempts to find the correct key out of the collection in the bottom of the clock, a spirit level iphone app and at least a couple of glasses of beer to start it ticking. But the bongs were all in the wrong place, the hour hand slipped and worse still, a really ugly clack just before each strike of the bong. I’d have been in such trouble for messing with the clock.

But it’s ok now, I’ve fixed it Dad. And I think in the end you’d have seen the funny side of things.

He was good at seeing the funny side of things. I think he’d have approved of me playing a game of snap with his sympathy cards. He’d have relished the red roses for Lancashire encroaching on Yorkshire’s turf and he’d have wanted us all to remember him fondly without taking all this formality too seriously. Helen and I recalled the fake fingers dad used to have trapped in the carboot of his mini, remember those? we joked that he would have liked the idea of having them put on his coffin.

I’m told I look like mum and have always thought that I took after her and Helen took after dad… well, after all, Helen did take up a career in probate and me in education. I thought I got my creativity from mum too, but having thought about it more after finishing my masters where I spent time studying storytelling through objects, it’s clear there’s a lot more of dad in me than I once thought.

Thank you dad, for bringing me up right and I hope in time I will come to discover more of your special qualities within me. I will always miss you.
8th Feb 2013, 10:45   | tags:,

MaggieD says:

WOW, such a lovely photo, Beth in full flow, dad looking on indulgently.

And a lovely eulogy, Beth and Helen were blessed with a wonderful father and he was blessed with two lovely daughters.

8th Feb 2013, 19:07

Viv says:

Thanks Maggie for your comments and the time you have taken to read these posts.

9th Feb 2013, 04:51

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