Dad’s Birthday

Anyway, back to the reason I was heading home!  It was my Dad’s birthday this weekend and they were kindly heading south to Lingfield for a weekend at the races, this was partly to help me as getting to Manchester or Prestwick wasn’t the easiest, but also my wife was down south and would need to travel up north as well.

Allie picked me up from Heathrow with my brother in tow, and we arrived at the hotel around 10:30pm and straight away got a pint of Guiness from a draught pump J

Unfortunately the weekend weather wasn’t that great, it was cold and rainy so required brollies every time we went out to watch a race, but the rest of the time we were in one of the 12teen buildings within Lingfield Park either getting drinks, placing bets, or having lunch.

In the late afternoon Allie and I went to the spa where we had a steam, shower and Jacuzzi – blissful relaxation!  The evening we went to the hotel restaurant, Allie had got the hotel to hold the cake in the kitchen so that dad would have it delivered to him after dinner.  He was blissfully unaware while we stalled over choosing deserts until they placed the cake onto the table and we sang “happy birthday” to him.  My dad hates attention on birthdays, he will have gone out of his way to make sure no-one knew at work to avoid the “hanging balloons from my desk saga”.

After dinner we spent the eve eating cake and having baileys, amaretto and a few other drinks come to mind including the Frosty Jack – what an ace drink to have, it sounds vile but I swear it is wicked – Jack Daniels, Drambuie, loads of lime wedges, lemonade or soda and lots of ice of course.

My dad is the reason I have such a passion for aviation, he took me up in my first ever plane at the British Aerospace Woodford Openday in 1985 and took me on a BAe 748 complete with garish 1980’s style orange seats.

BAE Super 748, the reason we moved to Taiwan... They took about 6days to deliver to Kaohsiung including police arrests and were laden with spare parts. Shown at the threshold at Woodford before departure.

He has worked at British Aerospace (and just about any other guise it has been known by) for over 40 years now working on aircraft such as the Nimrod, Vulcan, Victor, Jetstreams, 146, ATP, 748, 125 and probably a host of other ones I don’t know about.  Thanks to his job, I have lived in some fabulous places and had such amazing opportunities; I never took flying to other countries and grabbing jump seats on customer aircraft for granted, but I don’t have many photographs to bring the memories back into reality – I will try and dig some out in the next month or so!

Turk Hava Tasimaciligi, a subsidy of Turkish Airlines. Fleet of 6 aircraft used to do the domestic runs to the south, places like Dalaman were tiny villages then

My dad taught me how to play football which I played until the 4th year of university when someone kindly broke my fibula; squash (which I was a very good junior); and how to run and ride a bike, the latter 2 of which I broke a few distance records and got a top 30 UK ranking.  I think squash is something which you can get good at, but then when you become a dad you suddenly excel at – while your wife gives birth, a beam of light comes down to you god bestows some incredible skill upon you to leather a ball against a wall whilst stood in a corner you could touch with your nose.  My dad was a good squash player, I remember going to watch him play when I was young and stand above the court while he gracefully swung his racket and the ball would make a piercing ring as the rubber ball strained from the racket before trying to remove the paint from the wall.  I still cannot make a ball make that noise, even with today’s modern rackets.  It’s no wonder he was good, his opponents were probably just glad they hit the ball back, I often wonder the noise the ball would make if he used one of the modern more powerful rackets…  When I have children, I will gain these incredible dad-powers and I too will play squash again and ring the ball’s neck against the wall.

My dad doesn’t play squash anymore, he moans about his knees, but he has treated himself to a new Boardman bike for his birthday, hands up whose dad at 60 has decided to convert from road cycling to mountain biking??

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~ by globalste on February 27, 2011.

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