Saturday, 24 January 2015

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.

8 comments:

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

What a wonderful memory of your Dad Jane. I have similar ones of my Dad except it was a saxophone and clarinet instead of a piano { although, we did have a baby grand in our lounge which he played as well !! } Our son has followed in his Grandfather's footsteps and works in the music industry.
A wonderful story and lovely to read Jane.
Happy weekend ….. and keep warm. XXXX

WOL said...

They're such a part of you, your parents, so intertwined into who you are, not just genetically, but in every way. They shape you and mold you in ways you can never fully comprehend, and when you lose one, it's like losing a large chunk of yourself. Mine was 92, and had reached the state where his death was a mercy, but like my mom said the other day, it's not what he became in the end that I miss, but the man he was, and all the things that made him special. They become such a part of you that when they are gone, there's nothing that happens that doesn't touch, however slightly, the empty socket of their loss and set off a twinge of "Wish you were here."

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Jane,

So often the mind is prompted towards a distant memory from a trigger of a sound, a sight or a scent. The senses are so strong in this regard.

And, how wonderful that your thoughts were taken back to the day in your grandmother's house when your father played the very same music that you are listening to here. Lovely.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Hi Jackie, how brilliant that your Dad played the saxophone and the clarinet, I adore sax' it's a wonderful sound! Your talented son has inherited that musical-gene you must be really proud...I remember him doing the music to accompany the New Year firework display each year..fantastic!!
* * *
Hello WOL, your words describe succinctly how much we miss them when they've gone....'the empty socket of their loss' hits it on the nail!
* * *
Dear Jane and Lance, I can't tell you how brilliant it was to see your names land in my comment box. I'm SO glad you are recovered and look forward to reading more of your wondrous adventures!

Hugs to you all, thank you so much for writing, I'm thrilled you enjoyed reading.
Jane x

Teresa Evangeline said...

... a beautiful remembrance, Jane.

Mady Dooijes said...

Dear Jane,
What a wonderful memory of your father Jane.
Your story brought out a lot of emotions in me... Although my father is still alive, I do miss him every day as we live so far away from each other (opposite sites of the world). I cherish the things he and my mother taught me (even though I sometimes rebelled against it when I was younger), I see myself teaching the same things to my children.
Thank you Jane for all your lovely words on my blog, I so much enjoy reading them. Hope you are well.
Wishing you well and sending you warm hugs.
Mady xxx

June said...

This is so beautiful dear Jane! I can imagine it all in my head how it must have been, thanks to your amazing writing skill. Even down to the paper rustling as he folded it up.
A beautiful memory now shared and held by all who read here.
much love...

Ruthie Redden said...

Precious memories Jane, and lovely to read your words. I recently began attending a memoir group and am beginning to write down memories from my own childhood experiences in a way I never ahve before, and loving the process, your words inspire me. Hoping all is good with you x