|Dad, the year before he died, with our youngest:|
Cal Lloyd (the Lloyd after Dad)
Whatever the reason, this year I feel the need to do something to honour the man who was the first, and in many ways the most important man in my life. So I am writing a posthumous birthday blog post for him, which is not much, I know, but it's the best I can do on this rainy Monday morning that is probably better spent under the ground anyway.
I wasn't always the greatest daughter to my father, it's fair to say, and if you read my memoir, presuming THE PUBLISHING PROCESS EVER ENDS, you will see more of what I mean by this. I was cheeky and obstinate, always wanting the last word. I was also a bit odd. When Mum and Dad asked me what I wanted for my third birthday - my third birthday - after a good long pause to consider, I apparently answered: 'A man.' This was probably not the best way to endear myself to my fairly traditional father who was, after all, a man. Still, I like to think that Dad, who had a pretty good sense of humour, especially when he was drunk, and in a different life might have been Eric Morecombe whom he both resembled and admired, did not take my answer as a personal affront. I'm sure this wasn't my purpose.
Fortunately this remark did not make it to the memoir; there just wasn't room for all the odd material I had from my childhood. Also the publisher is fairly small and couldn't afford a lawsuit. But mostly I don't think Dad would have been too pleased if I'd included it and although he is long dead and there is some other stuff in the memoir that he would likely not approve of either (more or less my whole childhood), I do still hope that the memoir, on balance, pays a tribute of sorts to him; a man of good heart and humour, who tried to save the Third World and nearly succeeded, and who, in the process, didn't always get things right where I was concerned. But then hardly anyone ever does. I loved him anyway - and still do.
Happy Birthday Dad; I hope everyone is saved where you are and there is unlimited cold beer on tap.