For Father’s Day: A Voyage Around My Father’s Talents

Laura and Grandpa on the beach writing in the sand

Laura with my dad on the beach at Mousehole

On Father’s Day today, seeing so many people remembering their late fathers on Facebook reminded me just how lucky I am to have reached my age and still be able to share this special day with mine. 

How lucky my daughter is, too, to be able to spend so much time with her grandfather, especially as I was 43 when she was born. Living just 20 miles away from my parents, she’s been able to build a close bond with them that will always be a part of her and who she is.

One of the many things that Laura has learned from my father is to paint beautiful pictures. They’ve both inherited my grandfather’s artistic talents. Here are two pictures that I treasure, which grace a corner of our living room – my dad’s garden by Laura and our garden by my dad:

Grandpa's garden by Laura

Grandpa’s garden by Laura (aged 7)

Grandpa's painting of Laura's garden

Laura’s garden by Grandpa (aged 70+)

My dad’s love of music has also filtered down to her. Here’s a music stand that he made for Laura when she started flute lessons:

Music stand made by Grandpa for Laura

In the background is the piano from my dad’s childhool home

He’s made many extraordinary pieces for me too, over the years, perhaps the most remarkable being this pewble:

Wooden pewble made by my dad

Is it a pew? Is it a table? No, it’s a pewble!

He even made an information panel, as you find in so many National Trust properties, giving curious visitors the history of this unusual piece of furniture.

Actually, that’s just a bit of fun – the pewble is entirely his own invention, created to make a virtue out of the uneven floor in my kitchen. It’s a cross between a pew and a table, the table behind the pew serving as a worktop. The table has longer legs than the the bench, to accommodate the steps. How cool is that?

Above the pewble is the stained glass panel my dad made to replace the old larder window that was broken when I bought the house:

Stained glass larder window

The window between the walk-in larder and the kitchen

With 18 separate panes of glass, it has the same proportions as the original. My dad etched it with the date that my first husband and I moved into this house. After John’s death, I remarried, so my father added a new inscription with the wedding date. Never let it be said that my dad isn’t even-handed.

A further celebration of my second marriage is the gorgeous calligraphy my dad made of the song sung at my wedding by my cousin Sarah (who also carries our grandpa’s musical genes):

Robert Burns calligraphy by my dad

Yes, he painted the rose as well

Now, stop me if I’m boasting, but I haven’t even mentioned the rocking horse yet, lovingly carved over many months as an early gift for Laura when she was barely big enough to sit on it. It now takes pride of place in our sitting room and is very popular with Laura’s visiting friends.

Laura's rocking horse

Stabled in our sitting room

I’m very, very lucky to have such a gifted, focused and productive father to make such beautiful things for my house. But that’s not the point of this post. What matters isn’t the beauty of these things – their good looks are just a bonus. What matters most is who made them and that he made them for me and my family. Whenever I look at any of these artefacts – painting, calligraphy, pewble, window, rocking horse – what I see most of all is a manifestation of my father’s love. Now that really is something to boast about.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Another post about my father, written for his 80th birthday last year: In Praise of Pine Cones – and Grandpa

And in the interests of balance, a post inspired by my mum: The Scent of A Mummy

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4 thoughts on “For Father’s Day: A Voyage Around My Father’s Talents

  1. Such treasures from your dad, pieces that will always remind you and your family of his love. This was a nice tribute to him, too.

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