I’m sorry it has been so silent around here lately.
Today at 11.30am local time, 1.30am UK time, my father died. He was 97 and had been in fragile health for several years.
He had an extraordinary life, seeing the world change from the 1920s of his childhood, through the 1930s and joining the army towards the end of WWII to serve in a tank regiment and land on Sword Beach on D-Day +1. After the war, he continued to serve for a short time in the Education Corps in what later became the state of Israel. Upon demobilising from the army, he went to seek his fortune in Nigeria, working for Shell. He met and married my mother, they moved to Angola, which was still a Portuguese colony at the time, before returning home to England in the late 1950s to settle down and raise his family.
He saw transport go from horse-drawn to supersonic to men living in space. He went from telephones in few homes to one in every pocket. He went from shelves full of encyclopaedias to the sum knowledge of mankind at our fingertips. There will never be another generation like his, spanning such incredible changes in technology, ideas and culture.
He never told me I couldn’t do something because I was female. He was by no means perfect, but he was a man of principle and integrity, of wicked humour and a deep love of music.
Rest in Peace, Pa. You’ve earned it.