Life is life but death is death
Sooner or later we had to cover this. With life comes death and its almost exactly five years since my Father popped off. It’s not all fun and games on the Daddy Dore Blog but you can’t ignore reality.
Its September 2014 and I’m stood by my Fathers bed. Tragically he’s the wrong side of being alive. All the family members have said their fond farewells some two nights ago, just ahead of him drifting off. I’m stood, tears streaming down my face, bubbling cobblers to the man that once was. Thus far, the worst time in my entire life.
Having children wasn’t massively on our radar at this point, unbeknownst to us though, we would have to endure much more pain to get where we are today. We had talked about it in many respects but today was a massive potion of refocus pie.
Its all a bit shit really
The original Daddy Dore would never see or hear Gamp. He would never be able to bounce her on his knee, tell her a story or do the most amazing magic trick I’ve ever seen. She wouldn’t benefit from the car ferry stories that he would adlib on the spot. That’s of course when back in the day, the car ferries had an air of style and adventure about them, not the commercial slags they are now.
She wouldn’t benefit from his sailing skills, his intuition, intelligence, ready wit, integrity and educated mind. It was truly a great loss for not only my Mother, Brother and I, but the new generation will miss out too.
Or will they?
Life of Iron
Occasionally I have a lightbulb moment and I think ahead. Equally, like the other day, I didn’t and as a consequence of the monkey banging cymbals in my head, I burnt myself on the iron whilst pressing a T Shirt. Naked. These things happen when you go out with the Godparents for a cheeky ‘Gin’ session and that being the case; you should be prepared for a tickle on the tallywacker via the Morphy Richards. I digress.
I find the spoken word fascinating and by far the most entertaining medium beating TV hands down. I always have and that’s why I love radio. A good radio play can take you all over the world without you leaving your seat. A ball busting comedy can have you pissing you pants, ( potentially in the same seat ) and it’s the uncluttered, naked escapism that captivates me. Its one on one. The spoken word is theatre of the mind and my Dad could tell a story that would put Roger Moore ( one of the world’s best raconteurs ) to shame.
Recordy Lordy preserve that story
Some time ago and well before we saw the grim reaper approaching the horizon, I took to recording some of Daddios finest yarns. This included the heart stopping time that he and his Father stood atop a hill close to Portsmouth, as they watched the Luftwaffe dropping bombs in the Blitz. Memories that I hope you and I will never have to experience.
Another belter was the time he was held aloft during a monster session in the mess. With his feet painted a deep black, he and his chumrades proceeded to ‘walk’ him the length of the ceiling, thus leaving a set of size 8’s nicely in place topside for the Colonel to cop a butchers at the next morning.
Sauerkraut side and in possession and command of an Ammunition train, Dore Snr once again blotted his jotter. On a brief stop he took advantage of ten minutes’ downtime, hopping off the train onto the platform to have a cheeky woodbine and answer the call of nature. When he returned from the smallest room, the train had gone! Twelve carriages of ammo up skipper’s lane, never to be seen again. Classic stuff.
Near the end of our Dads funeral the Eulogy I read went:
“It is my hope that through the love and affection shared by all that knew him, the lights that have recently been turned out, will in time get turned back on. Eventually the glow will burn bright once again and he will be forever carried in our hearts and minds as if he was still here“.
This I actually believe to be passionately true for all that exit stage left. So although our little one will have never met him. She can see him in photos, the odd bit of video but the best in my opinion is what she can hear. It then follows that, to a degree, she will have him etched into her little heart and mind.
Every inflection, turn of phrase, humorous retort and bit of drama can be enjoyed if she chooses to listen to it. The timeless family stories can wash over her like audio tsunamis that we enjoyed during our upbringing. It may inspire her just as it has us. My suggestion to you dear reader is you may want to consider this as I did. My Dad knew what I was up to and sometimes played up to it but although he’s gone, I’ve got five years of rock solid audio gold.
Eighty one years in five
In five years I managed to bag eighty one years of life experience. Stories of his Dad in the trenches, stories of himself in National Service. The idiotic lives of my Brother and I as we grew up. The travel, adventure, love and loss. Its all there. Plus of course all the fun and frollicks with the other family members across the years. Eighty one years of history preserved to listen to over and over again. Oh yes, it was a bloody good lightbulb moment, the best I’ve had.
Once it’s gone its gone but you dear reader have in your hand a tool that can preserve the history and love. Smart phones are so often used by many who are thick as f*ck but like any tool, use it wisely and it can be rewarding. So next time you go visit your parents or grand parents, whip it out and hit record. You never know what will come out and you don’t have to stop there.
Do the same for your newborn! I’ve managed to preserve the burbles, squeaks, squawks, dibbles and dabbbles ( wtf? ) from day one. You are probably already doing this so its teaching you to suck eggs ( or at least puree them ) from there, the circle continues. Especially if you are using a tape recorder as the spools creak round.
Back to Life, Back to reality
Exactly a year later after his death, I find myself DJing at the Bestival Festival again. This time on the Sugar Skulls stage till 3am presenting the Zombie Love In. In Mexico they celebrate the dead with a special day, aptly titled, The Day of the Dead. The Sugar Skulls stage was exactly that with a converted bus for a bar, all done up in Mexican styled attire.
My Brother, his wife to be, my missus and Ricardo were all taking part and were suitably attired as Zombies. Plus our collective buffoons from Park of the Dead. I couldn’t think of a more suitable and enjoyable way than to tip our sombreros to our late great Dad than by getting pissed, playing some tunes, making others happy, whilst having a right old knees up. He would have enjoyed it and whats more….
Had he been there, it would have given me another great anecdote to record.
Voice recorders at the ready my friend.
We get booked in to Hospital Hotel with all the joy and comfort that it brings*
*no it doesn’t.