10 January 2010

Weekend Ponderings...Fathers

Tucked deep under the duvet covers with the wind again swirling loudly outside (I think it may be the Grigal wind this time coming from the North East). They say the grigal wind can drive you mad  and I almost believe it.  It bellows and bashes the house and the plants in the courtyard, the trees and the rat ta ta tatting of clothes nearly whipped off the line.  The sound makes you feel you are lost at sea amid plummeting waves... such dramatic noises of movement  that you can hardly find the stillness of sleep no matter how badly you want it.
.... so unable to find sleep I read.

David J. and Linda A. Cornfield
Amid the bed covers (thankfully the children with their pa at my inlaws),  I was able to get lost in a book... this time I was amid spoiled boys in the streets of Havana before the Batista was overthrown... a good story so far... descriptive quirky details about the characters especially the father, the oversized porcelain collecting judge who believed he was King Louis XVI in a past life. Hours later sitting eating soup, listening to Orhan Pamuk reading My Russian Education by Nabokov on the Ipod, I am taken somewhere else- this time to sleigh-rides in St. Petersburg.. long chess games in a dark library and again fathers, larger than life and just out of reach... again the nostalgia.

Does every man hold on to a memory of their father in such a way... does it change when they become a father themselves? Is there something slightly untouchable about the memory of our fathers that we have from early childhood? What are some early good memories you have of your father?


  1. In my early childhood, my father was just there, without any words. Just on the sofa next to me, we cuddled much. My mother did everything else ;-)


  2. Guusje, I have found quiet loving observation can be just as much of a presence as someone doing and saying a great deal (my experience in witnessing various grand parenting styles).

    Classical music on Sunday mornings and the smell of waffles, Sunday was always waffles day at our house.

  3. My fondest memory of my Dad was when I was poorly. He sat by my bed and read 'The Hobbit' to me..a chapter a night. He's brilliant at reading out loud and each character had a different voice. I think it was the only time when I was little that I actually looked forward to bed time....all snuggled up warm in my duvet, eyes closed just listening....

    C x

  4. Carol, what a great memory! I am still eagerly looking forward to the age when I can start to read the children a chapter book- a chapter a night in that same way. I believe that is how I began the Narnia chronicles one winter and it was like magic, remember my mother reading a chapter and then me begging for her to read just one more. .

  5. My father was the one who molly-coddled us and who doted on us three sisters. We could see the pride he felt when he showed us around to anyone. I also remember his never-ending patience when he had to explain the difficult problems in mathematics to me. He found so many ways and methods to break down a problem so that I would be able to carry it out by myself. He was/is ever so good in calculating mathematics. I just came out more linguistically inclined and which was and still is so frustrating for me at times when I come to calculate something mentally. So slooow!

  6. I wanted to get married to my father when I was a little girl.

    My parents were very young, so that might have been a different generation than the fathers in your books. But them being so young they divorced early - so my memories vanish when I was about the age of 10.


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