Wednesday, 9 November 2011
This weekend my Dad turned sixty. You will probably never meet him but here are ten things you should know about him:
1. Earlier this year he came off his bike a short way into the second stage of his ironman competition, badly breaking his collar bone. He waited for the ambulance to arrive and collect the seriously injured man behind him, patched up his bike, mopped up the blood, then cycled the remaining 100 miles one-handed. And then he ran a marathon.
2. If you ask him about it he'll say "Well, you know...it was...you know," cough awkwardly and act as though it's the type of thing that happens every day and is barely worth mentioning at all.
3. He has been on a coeliac diet for the last twenty years, which means that every day he eats bread that tastes of cardboard. I have never even once heard him complain about it.
4. His whole face is designed to smile.
5. If the thought of money so much as crosses his mind he'll reach down and pat the small change in his right trouser pocket. He will then reach into his pocket and give you everything he has. And offer you more besides.
6. He builds the best obstacle courses, rope swings, water slides, camp fires and forts. He makes the best train noises. He pulls the funniest faces. And he can play with all the enthusiasm and tirelessness of a child.
7. For the last fifteen years he's celebrated his birthday by selling neon-bright glow sticks and whirligigs to over-excited children on behalf of the Rotary Club at the village bonfire. This has made him very happy.
8. He lives entirely in the present. This means that he is always late.
9. His enthusiasm is legendary, and contagious. If you spend enough time with him you will start smiling / exercising / bell-ringing / running triathlons.
10. He is the best person in the whole world to share good news with. His joy for your joy makes your happiness complete.