Moments Captured in Time,
Since my Father’s death, l have been on a journey of discovery into understanding. My Father was a very meticulous man with his words and he articulated those same words in many different formats.
I started to see the story of him through first his financial administrations – his bank statements in the main and how very much he originally favoured supporting my Sister. He had always been one of her prime and staunch supporters as was from the time the four of us lived together as a family, and he stepped up that game from the turn of the millenium and then more so from the time of her own divorce proceredings in 2007. She and he to the casual observer were very close. That closeness was at times a question of bewilderment from my Mother and myself, as we had always struggled to have Dad help us when we were at home with anything. But Jenny was seen by him as both the dutiful and prodigal Daughter, she could do no wrong even when it was blatantly obvious she was doing wrong.
My Sister since 2007 especially received preferential treatment from Dad and more importantly the Bank of Dad. She became so used to receiving the golden handshake that here we are in 2019, some four months since his demise and she is feeling the pinch and hard. It’s not that surprising she was on average receiving an addition £1200 – £1350 pcm for years, irrelevant to what her own salary or income was. So l guess when you lose that, before downsizing your expectations, panic is most assuredly a phase you might experience and that is where she is now.
Since the start of the New Year she has gone from this nonchalant woman with a seemingly ‘I don’t care attitude’ to recently an all out attack on getting as much money possible out of the estate as she can and now reminds me of the everready rabbit high on octane!
In addition to his finances, l have read my Father’s estate and still do in the form of private correspondence between he and my Mother which was a wake up call in certain areas and also of those to my Sister – another wake up call, especially since 2015, but also the one sided love letters to his forever love Jeanne. Who for whatever reason walked out of his life in 1998, and he continued to love her for the rest of his life. All letters provided both valuable clues and even more valuable information concerning his life and the value to some of the content in his house…or not as the case turns out to be.
I started reading his unfinished autobiography, but that has been placed on the backburner until l have finished with the stories that you also read now in the My Father in Reflection series.
But also, l had as you may recall a box of diaries, his diaries from the mid fifties which l couldn’t read effectively due to the size of the actual diary and the size of his writing in said book. I worked out that in order to read them, l would have had to have been six inches in height, as l am not they sadly had to be discarded. What l kept however were the much bigger diaries of which there are 7 – 1969, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1984. Why, l don’t know, but instead of starting with 1969, l began my reading aided by a huge magnifying glass in the year of 1973.
It’s slow reading, l tend to only read it in the toilet or occasionally in beds before lights out. However the latter proves harder for me because l have to hold the book and glass above my head and l don’t have the strength in my shoulder to maintain that for too long whilst the former only places a minimal amount of strain on my neck as l am looking down.
Are they fascinating reads? No, not really, l mean unless you write a diary as a celebrity or an explorer or adventurer, what is there to read except daily life for that year? How exciting is that going to read to anyone? My own Dear Blog episodes are far from gripping, and they too are a form of daily life memory, so my Father’s were not action packed film creating experiences either. But what they do capture are the emotions and feelings at the time. This is why l am reading them, because l want to try and get into my Father’s psyche for those years.
I have a pretty good memory, but my memories are of my life, and those of my parents whilst present to a certain degree are NOT going to be the stronger basis of any of my tales unless they are indicative to them specifically. So l don’t really know what my parents were living and experiencing then. It would be in the 80’s when l would have to endure the heartfelt conversations from my Mother concerning my Father’s strange behaviour and antics from her point of view.
1973, is the second diary, l am currently in May of that year and so far l have learned several things which have sparked and triggered some of my own memories from that time.
I turned ten that year- an event that didn’t make an entry in his world, we were still at that time to be seen but not heard as children. We had been back from Malaysia for two years and were now living in Springvale South, Victoria in Australia. I had my beautiful Huntsman spider as a pet, we adopted Jasmine our family cat who travelled back to England with us all in 1977.
My Father had a Wisden  bought for him in that Month by my Mother as an early birthday present and it cost her $6.10 [old money] and it was purchased in Melbourne. At the same time l bought myself 4 Enid Blyton books for $1.
My parents that year l think were gunning for a position in the Guiness Book of Records for the amount of times they made love in accordance to his words describing the event as ‘Wonderful’ or ‘Very Pleasing’ or ‘Nice’ or ‘Just ok’. However the marriage was rocky and my Mother constantly complained and wanted to go back to England, or find herself a new husband, or would shout at him that the kids were not his! She had by this time also accused him of adultery twice and he accused her once!Arguments were a daily occurance in this year and not a once a month situation. They argued about everything. But also, l learned that for this year, my Father was starting to fall out of love with her and that life was fast becoming a ‘boring routine’ to him.
So no, maybe the journal entries are not overly exciting and nail biting stuff, but they still are interesting as moments captured in time.