It is often said that dads are someone to look up to. Someone to follow. Someone to admire and someone to be proud of. My dad was all of those. I listened to everything he said, not necessarily agreeing, but always took note. He was always right – well, most of the time.
My dad was my internet before the internet was invented and even after it was invented if it couldn’t give me an answer. I would ring him asking DIY questions and he’d always know what to do. “Dad why has my light fitting only got 3 terminals when I have 5 wires dangling from the ceiling. What do I do with the 2 spare wires?”
My Dad was my Sat Nav before Sat Navs. “Dad, how do I get to so and so?”. He would always know and give me some alternatives just to be even more helpful. “You can go up the M1 or alternatively the A1 but if you don’t want to pay the Dartford Tunnel you can alternatively go through the Blackwall Tunnel”
My Dad was my Driving instructor. He taught me to drive in a big blue Ford Zephyr with no power steering. I always had difficulty with the reverse turns (I still do) so he put a blob of white sealant on the back window so that I could use it to line up with the curb. A brilliant idea!
On one memorable occasion he allowed me to drive to the Petrol station in a Yorkshire Village. I was 17 and still learning but he got me to negotiate a tight narrow bend with the inevitable consequences. I hit their door frame. The owner of the Petrol Station ran out of the building to chase the carpenter (who had just left) down the road. He had only moments ago fixed it after the last person had hit it. Dad just thought it funny and couldn’t wait to tell his dad and my mum.
I cannot begin to imagine not having dad on the end of the phone or facetime to be able to ask for help or assistance with some project. He always had a graceful manner to help with any project great or small. He helped me one cold snowy Easter to build a conservatory onto my last house. It was freezing and it needed a lot of brute force to assemble. However, we did it and even though Jackie and I have left that house for nearly 20 years, that conservatory is still standing - a proud testament to our combined efforts.
I will always remember our caravan holidays as a child. He would hook up the caravan to the car, pull it up our very steep drive as if it was nothing. Towing never phased him and we would all toddle off touring around the UK - Scotland, The New Forest, Wales, Weston-Super-Mare, or we’d just spend a weekend at Rye Bay Caravan Park, Winchelsea Beach. It was always great fun and the weather was always sunny – well, that’s how I remember the weather, maybe it was just his sunny outlook that made me think it was always sunny.
All these are just memories now, but happy ones, and they will never be forgotten – like dad.
Michael Ford 5/11/1937 to 20/7/ 2021 - Sadly missed.
"I'd like to take wine" was his favourite saying when in a restaurant with his family.