Today would have been Dad's 76th birthday, so we'd better begin his celebrations with a duck ...
One of the first things to put a smile on my face soon after Dad left our mortal coil, was his collection of duck photographs - I wonder if he ever realised exactly how many ducks had posed for him over the years? It seems he could never resist pointing his lens towards an obliging duck!
I remember him telling me about this photograph of Brighton Pier. He took the photo on a trip with my sister Tina and her partner Ian and was utterly thrilled to have captured the gulls swooping dramatically over the pier at twilight. He was absolutely frozen too, as apparently it was a bitterly cold day!
'The Red Arrows'
And when he snapped the 'Red Arrows' in formation, I received an excited call ... Dad derived much pleasure from his camera and was always eager to share his photographic triumphs.
Dad loved playing the tourist in London and knew the City like the back of his hand. When I was a little girl, I remember being taken to see the 'Changing of the Guard' at Buckingham Palace, so it was lovely to hear the excitement in his voice when he called to tell me about his recent visit to London with two of his Granddaughters ... almost forty years after our visit. Dad was feeling all of his seventy-plus years with two lively girls to manage, but nonetheless, had an absolute blast sharing his favourite sights with them.
Whenever possible, Dad would be working in his garden. Being outdoors was his passion and if something interesting caught his eye, he would of course reach for his camera ...
He was so delighted with his border display of foxgloves in 2010, out came the camera to capture them in all their magnificent glory, closely followed by a phone call to describe to me in great detail, exactly how wonderful they were!
Dad, on the receiving end of Tina's camera lens!
I could, of course, share many more photographs and 'Dad' memories with you, but my abiding and most comforting thought about 2010, the year he died, is that he had enjoyed so many aspects of his life throughout that year ... family, friends, completing his building extension, his various hobbies, visits, the great outdoors, Winter, Spring, Summer and a beautiful early Autumn. There is no doubt in my mind, Dad always made the most of his opportunities and relished living his life to the full.
Happy Birthday to you Dad xxx