The Story of my Dad
I often think the interesting thing about parents is their children only know one part of who they are. I guess that could be said of most relationships really, but parents have had this whole life before their children exist and they have been many things to others before they are a parent…..they’re a son or daughter, perhaps a brother or sister, a friend, a niece or nephew, maybe a husband or wife or an aunt or uncle. My dad was no exception, and had many titles before he was called Dad, and yet, despite this whole other life I know him only as he appears to me….my father.
An English Picnic
Growing up, an English summer was not complete without a picnic. Every child looked forward to their school holidays, but the summer break was particularly magical…six weeks of fun, sunshine and outings. I know England is universally joked about for wet weather; but my childhood memories of summer include sunny days and long evenings sitting in the garden until 10pm, when darkness finally laid its blanket over us. I remember day trips to the beach with buckets and spades, plastic flags, donkey rides and ice creams. Then driving home sandy, salty, tired and happy. Castle explorations and rambling in the woods hunting for blackberries also feature in my memories. Another popular pastime was water fights with old washing up liquid bottles with the neighbourhood children; there was usually some incident where detergent hadn’t been totally removed and ended up in someone’s eye, but they were fun times, filled with simple pleasures.
There weren't always dragons in the Valley. Nick had never known the peace of that time, but his grandfather had. He loved hearing his grandfather’s stories about his childhood when people could freely enjoy the beautiful land. Nick had heard the story of the day the dragons arrived so many times, but today he was unwell and wanted his grandfather to be close by, so he asked him again.