Tuesday, 2 June 2009

DNA and a Walking Stick

Sometimes realizations take years to creep up on you and sometimes they just suddenly leap out of the cupboard and punch you in the face in what Twitterers and Texters would describe as an "OMG!!!" moment.

This morning as I was putting on my shoes for the morning dog walk, I remembered in time that the path by the railway track was starting to become overgrown with nettles. A quick rummage under the stairs and I found a suitable walking stick with which to attack the undergrowth and keep the North-West Passage to Wibbly open.

Five minutes later there I was, striding purposefully down the grassy track swinging my walking stick and (just about) restraining a cute but extremely dippy mutt on the end of a lead when ....POW!!! Yes it suddenly struck me! That mysterious alchemy of Darwinism and Pavlovian conditioning had finally worked its magic and the impossible had happened! The Old English Sheepdog had shrunk to a heeby-jeeby but yes.....

I'd turned into my Dad!

The awfulness of this thought left me so perturbed that on my return to the house I had to compile a list of differences to console myself:

Things I do now that my Dad would never have done in a million years :

1. Wear shorts - his knees disappeared in Palestine in 1948 never to be seen again.

2. Grow a beard. "Trying to hide something, Johnny Beardy!".

3. Swim. Fear of water, even in his whisky.

4. Give up a Salaried Job to "go it alone". Dad hung on to a salary until he was way past retirement age.

5. Give up Smoking. I find it difficult to recall a single picture of him without a brier pipe in his mouth.

6. Written down intimate details about his Dad on the Internet.

At this point I remembered that his father had died when my father was just 5 years old and his subsequent struggle through childhood poverty probably produced most of his quirkiness and character. I also remembered his kindliness and humour, dedication and steadfast support.

I tore my list up. Perhaps it's not such a bad thing after all.


Dave said...

*choked up. Fights back tears*

Beth said...


zIggI said...

I'm with him on the water in the whisky - sacrilege! Or as Lily would no doubt say Sacré bleu!

And what are you hiding behind that beard?

Tim Footman said...

Dads are good, as a rule. They often get forgotten. Mine's an excellent chap. (But he's got a beard, and he gave up smoking.)

llewtrah said...

I hope I never turn into my mum. Trouble is, I already see the signs ....

Richard said...

We all become our parents. So many of my habits are my Dad's, even if our outlooks are almost completely opposed. It's when I see my mother in me that I begin to worry!

KAZ said...

I'm also turning into my mother.
I like her better now she's like me.
Pity it's too late.

Geoff said...

I am absolutely nothing like my mum but have the temperament and the loathing for social occasions of my dad.

I haven't started pissing in the sink yet, though.

Ivy said...

Dad`s are very special people - mine was.

Rog said...

Dave: You old softy.

Beth: LOL!

Ziggi: My beard hides the fact that I haven't shaved.

Tim: Maybe he gave up smoking to reduce the fire risk to beard?

Llewtrah: If I turn into my mum it will probably be driving a 16 wheel artic.

Richard: It seemed so unlikely when you were 18 years old!

Kaz: I bet the "feisty" gene was handed down, if not the "spiky" one.

Geoff: You've never stayed in a B&B then?

Ivy: They creep up on you, Ivy.

Z said...

Go for a walking pole. It's altogether more frisky than a walking stick and you don't have that tendency to lean like an old person.

Hm. Father.
1 No, I never saw my father in shorts
2 Nor with a beard, but he grew a moustache in the army as a protest, as he was being underpaid. In the end, they paid him what he was entitled to
3 My father could swim but didn't
4 My father was never employed (except in the army, to which he was called up). First he was self-employed, then he was a gentleman.
5 He gave up smoking in 1948, well before I was born. Well before, dear heart, you hear?
6 My father wore a black tie after his father died, for the rest of his life.