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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In memoriam

Yesterday morning my father died.  It is perhaps a little soon and a little raw to write about this now.  But I believe that is the nature of blogging... raw and immediate. So apologies if this is a little rough around the edges.

Of the people I have learned from in my life, he is pretty near the top of the list; as any good father should be. And he was an excellent father.  In fact, he was an excellent man.  He drove me to distraction over many things but on the things that mattered, he was generally right.

Indeed in the long run, over a life time, it is better to do the right thing than to chase success, comfort, contentment or any other fleeting goal.  This is perhaps the biggest thing I learned from him.

Other things include:

  • If you're going to stand up in a small boat then try to be in the middle of it when you do
  • Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce make an excellent deglaze gravy for pan-fried duck breasts
  • Grainy mustard and cream make an excellent sauce for pan-fried cod
  • On the back of a motorbike, sit still!
  • Don't cry, it's only pain
  • A bowline is about the only knot you need to know how to tie...
  • Being able to tie a bow tie, however, without a mirror is quite classy
  • Don't fight the wind, work out where it is coming from and work with it
  • When driving in snow, use at least one gear higher than you would normally and use the engine to brake where possible
  • Brakes don't slow the car down, they slow the wheels down
  • Always use a Stanley knife away from you
  • If you're going to 'drink', then do it standing up; your sense of balance will tell you that you've had enough long before your head or your stomach will
  • First write your document; format it when you have finished (I wish more people knew this!)
  • If you want to understand something, try and put it in a spreadsheet; you might not succeed in getting it into the spreadsheet but the process of trying will greatly help your understanding
  • The joy is not in the knowing it is in the finding out
  • The real measure of a man is not the number of his friends but the nature of his friends

There are many other things that I learnt from him, these are just the first few that spring to mind.

The world is a lesser place without him in it.