My sister and my mother both wrote posts like this, so here we go! At first I tried to write different things to my sister, then I realised I should just write what I wanted to as if she hadn't written at all. If you see what I mean. So here are ten happy memories of my Dad. I have no idea if he reads this!
He taught Chemistry at a secondary school and at weekends and in the school holidays he would take us into his lab and we would do experiments, things like growing crystals, developing shadow pictures in the darkroom, making candles.
Stomping through the back streets of Lewes in the dark on Bonfire Night, always knowing the shortcuts down the alleyways to bring us out just in front of the parades.
And lighting each firework from the box individually in my Grandma's garden, reading out the firework name by the light of the splint.
Teaching me to program a few lines of BASIC.
Singing me songs. There was one that went 'Squeezy Anna/Squeezy Anna/Down where the watermelons grow/And they've all got pips in' (Louisiana? I suppose) and one that was 'With your long blonde hair and your eyes are blue/The only thing I ever got from you was trouble'. And a lot more with made-up words.
Telling me that the reason he and Mum had three children was because every fourth child born in the world was Chinese and they couldn't speak Chinese.
I went to a girls' secondary school, and Dad taught at the boys' secondary school down the road. The two schools put on shows together and the rehearsals were at the boys' school. When I was there one time I ran into Dad in the corridor and his whole demeanour changed on seeing me, his face lit up and he was cheerful and friendly. All the boys around were used to his stern schoolteacher face and were staring at him in amazement.
Walking me down the aisle.
Teaching me how to go down waterslides really fast (the trick is to raise yourself up onto your heels and shoulderblades for minimum friction).
Reading to my little girls.