On a British Airways 767 to Tunisia, November 1987.

Firstly, I’d like to thank Hannah Richards for the idea. Click here for her brilliant photoblog.
Secondly, please accept my apologies for the non-photography related blog post today. This is the very first time I’ve posted a shot on here, that wasn’t taken for the purposes of ‘photography’, and also it’s the first photo I’ve posted that wasn’t taken by me! (This one was by my sister).

So, why now? Well as you all know today is fathers day. Sadly, I lost my father in 1997 to Cancer. We weren’t particularly close (parents divorced before I was born), so it was more of a ‘Sundays and holidays’ relationship. I was upset when it happened, but I’ve moved on.

Being a shy child, we also never had a very close relationship anyway. I couldn’t talk about anything indepth as we just weren’t that sort of people really. However, he did influence my life in many many ways, some of which I am still yet to find out or understand. As a professional driver for most of his adult life, he taught me to drive (well, some lessons when I got my license, and letting me drive his Renault 18 or Austin Princess 😀 whenever we went anywhere). Glad to say I eventually passed and regularly borrowed his car. I still drive to this day with some of the nuggets and pearls of driving wisdom he taught me back then.
Infact it was only a year after his death that I even followed in his profession and became a bus driver, ending up working many of the friends he left behind. It was quite warming really, to be welcomed into this ‘brotherhood’ of men that had been working together for many many years, and who knew me from when I was a young boy, accompanying my dad on bus trips everywhere. But I digress…..

Anyway, why this blog post, today? As I’ve stated, I didn’t have a particularly close relationship with my dad. Infact over the years we’ve had a good few falling outs, the most memorable of one about 2 days after this photo was taken. It was my first holiday in 1987 aged 10. Destination : Tunisia. Myself, my sister, my estranged half-brother and our dad. We were all in the hotel room about 2 or 3 days into the holiday and me and my half-brother (who lived with him) were arguing over something, and almost fighting. Being a shy kid, my dad encouraged me to fight back……so I did, and landed a beautiful haymaker 😀 Well my dad took the hump with me for some reason and we fell out. Me and my sister planning the rest of our holiday on our own. The falling out only lasted a few hours IIRC, but still, the day sticks in my mind.

Damn, I’m digressing again. Sorry!

So why this picture? As many of you know, I like to collect photos and video of my own children. I’m quite OCD about it, I love to photograph them, collect souvenirs, and write down lots and lots of memories, so they have plenty to look back on when they grow up. I don’t have *that* many photos or physical memories to be honest. To date, I have over 11,600 family photos. Lots and lots of memories for not just my children, but also for future generations.

Out of all those 11,000 photos. This is the only photo with both me and my dad in together that I can find. Not that I’m upset about that you understand, just that it now means it’s more special.

So there you go, that’s me, and that’s my dad. It’s nearly the end of fathers day 2009, and I’ve spent it with my children (mostly).
I thought to myself last night “From tomorrow, I’m going to be a cooler, calmer and more pleasant dad. I’m going to control my anger, and lessen my shouting”
I woke up this morning to my kids diving on me in bed and waking me up with homemade cards, which was absolutely brilliant. Come to an hour later and we’re getting ready for a children’s party that they’ve been invited to, and my 10 year old is flatly refusing to wear a pair of nice looking shoes. Instead she wants to wear some manky old trainers.
I should have let her, but my own insecurities reared their head, and stupidly I was worried about what the other people might think of me letting her wear them. So I was adamant she wasn’t allowed, she was steadfast and refused to budge…..and I got angry and shouted. I lasted all of 12 hours.
And there we have it, yet another trait of my dad’s rearing its head in my demeanour. A trait I really wish I didn’t have…..a short fuse.

So what am I saying? (Besides waffling on of course!). It’s a message to all dads out there (and mums too of course, but it *is* fathers day after all)
It’s that no matter how hard you try, if you have children then you have an absolutely massive responsibility. Not just to provide for them and keep them fed, clothed and warm. You also have a duty to mould them into good people. Good members of society. Thoughtful, kind people who will hopefully make the world a better place for everyone to live in.
And no matter how hard you try, they soak up everything around them like a sponge, good and bad. Your children look up to you for guidance on everything.

Don’t let the day to day running of life prevent you from spending time with them.
Don’t be a slave to work. Don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t live your life trying to ‘fit in’ with other’s ideals, or just trying to be ‘accepted’.

Life is precious. You only get one chance at it, make it count.

So if you’ve got kids then tell them you love them every day. Make that father / child relationship special. Give them some good memories to look back on when you’ve gone, so their recollections can be filled with smiles and happiness.

And finally, make that extra effort to show them what it is to be a good, kind and compassionate person, and when your own life is over you can be proud that you’ve left a good legacy in your children.

Happy Fathers Day Dad

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  1. Hannah Richards said:

    Aw, thanks for the mention.

    Happy fathers day Marcel 🙂

  2. Marcel said:

    You’re very welcome Hannah.
    Thank *you* for the inspiration and idea!

  3. Denise Graham said:

    Wow great picture.It gave me quite a start when the page opened up.Still can’t believe he was gone so young.

  4. Dave Mellor said:

    hey Marcel,
    brings back some funny memories, seeing that picture of your old man, was a funny guy.

  5. Marcel said:

    Thanks for the comments 🙂
    Good to see you Dave, long time no chat!

  6. Gary Eddleston said:

    Sorry for the late post, but a very good read there Marcel, and no true-r words said!

  7. Marcel said:

    Thanks very much Gary 🙂