Originally posted 18th June 2014
I will always remember Dad as an individual who gave me the best start possible. He always said to me that “Dads know best”, a sentiment which at the time I thought was rubbish, but how true it turned out to be.
Though passionate and die hard, he was reassuringly relaxed as well. He had this way of somehow allowing me to form my own choices, to make informed decisions, whilst always being there – in person, on the phone or through email to counsel, prod and poke where needed. I felt privileged that he trusted me to find my own way in the most supportive way possible, and whereas I never realised it at the time, it will be the way I will strive to raise the future little Mikes. I know that Mum was also on the receiving end of this kind of support, and that she loved him for that.
Although I can’t be certain, I reckon it is this side of Dad’s personality that sat well within his professional life – diplomatic, self-assured, supportive and always somehow ‘there’ for everyone. When I heard that he had been elected to his position in the Police Federation, I have never felt more proud. I loved hearing about his stories during his time in the police.
He supported me personally too. He has always gotten behind our hobbies, whether it is ferrying people to one of my Eurovision parties, picking us up from town after a night out (and the subsequent disapproving comments if either I or one of my friends had had one drink too many), buying me Lego sets when I was younger, despite the inevitability of me leaving bricks all over the floor for him to stand on in the night. He bought Mum her first Trombone, a day she – and all of our neighbours – will never forget. He had a surprising eye for detail – he was mum’s personal wardrobe consultant as well.
Such was with the time he devoted to his professional duties, Dad was a guy of few hobbies, but what he got up to in his spare time, he devoted all his time to. He opened my eyes to loads of new things. He was an awesome cook, and despite living in a city with no end of incredible steakhouses, no-one could broil a sirloin to Medium Rare as good as him. Probably this is one of the reasons that I am so ‘into’ food. He once took me to a cooking course. I couldn’t have been very old as it was the first time I ever saw an uncooked chicken – and I froze in terror. I know from his friends that he was completely committed to Freemasonry and his lodges, and some of the best moments in his life would surely be from his time with his friends and these functions around Gloucestershire and beyond.
Just from the sheer number of visits and comments in the last week or so have really opened my eyes to Dad – all the people he cared about and who cared about him – in many ways, I have learnt more about him recently than I ever did before; all of it overwhelmingly positive, warming and comforting.
With love, Mike