It's actually sunny today. A weak winter sunshine but damp and cold . In the suburbs the roads and roofs still wet, glisten, and drivers scrabble overhead to pull down sun-visors against dazzling beams slanting low in the sky. Saturday afternoon is quiet here, apart from the dog living next door who barks in his boredom, having been left behind. The postman delivered his letters and the dog hates the postman. If I look through the side windows of our house I can just see into the bay of the semi next door. There sits the dog on the sofa neatly pushed into the recess of the window, his shiny black nose pushed up against the glass and the offending letter lately delivered lies crumpled on the back of the window ledge, I hope they discover it.
The radio plays in our sunny conservatory here, Beethoven's, Fur Elize.
I was 23 when my Dad died. He was five years younger than I am now, 42 years have gone by I think of him nearly every day, I have a photograph of him next to me here, by the computer. When I was very small my Nannie, Dad's mother lived in a house about an hour away in a different Northern town. I think I mentioned before somewhere she was a teacher and the house was full of books. There were soft carpets and oak doors with brass handles, a big clock that chimed the hours and a piano. One afternoon I was allowed to sit on the piano stool and tinkle-plonk the keys. There had been a piano at home, in the big house, but when we moved to a smaller terraced property following the collapse of my Grand-dad's business there wasn't any room for it, so it was hacked to pieces and the beautiful wood made into a bookcase. There was only me and my Dad in the room that afternoon, the others were busy in the kitchen from whence came delicious smells, my Nannie probably basting the leg of lamb for dinner. He sat quietly reading the paper, a broadsheet. Always a broadsheet, so big that he had to hold his arms high to read it.
"Can you play the piano properly Daddie?"
The newspaper rustled and cracked as he neatly folded it down, and he looked across at me and smiled. Rising he moved to sit beside me on the stool and softly began to play ever so quietly Fur Elize. No music sheet, he must have memorized it.
Painting: Poul Friis Nybo (1869-1929) Danish painter studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen.