Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This one's for my pa

We should all appreciate, if we can, our fathers. I am lucky in that a) I still have one and b) he’s really nice. And he turns – well, I don’t really know how old he turns today, but anyway, it’s his birthday so happy days dad.

I think I was one of those rare teenagers who wasn’t embarrassed by their parents. My parents are seriously cool. Then and now. When I was about ten or eleven my dad bought this really funky little left-hand-drive short-wheel-base brown Land Cruiser. It had a canvas roof and sucked in the dust like a reverse vacuum cleaner. We got chased by a mamba once in that car. Another story another time (or have I told it already?) So my parents used to pick us up for half term and school holidays in this cool dust sucking car and everyone at school thought my parents were soooo cool (“Oh my god, your mother listens to a walkman? That’s so coool” To be fair this was 1980’s Malawi under the Banda regime where men were not allowed to have long hair and women had to wear skirts. Or go to prison – seriously! So a strange breed of people there anyway) Having said that I was, just briefly, embarrassed by the lovely beaten up maroon Volvo that we had in South Africa – the one that the homeless guy used to sleep in? But only for a few months. I grew to love that car too!

Oh there I go getting distracted again. Where was I oh yes, the brown cruiser (which my dad still has). People used to stop my dad in the streets in Lusaka and ask him if he was Maguiver!! Remember him! Ha ha! Once again though, this was 1980’s Zambia so…..

Last time I was in Lusaka I stayed with my dad and he dug up some old newspaper clippings that I’d never seen before. Pictures of him and my mom as serious long-haired-pot-smoking-guitar-playing hippies in 1970’s (or even 60’s??) Jo’burg. Selling their art on the street and protesting against apartheid. Getting arrested, getting in the papers for living in a mixed race commune (shock horror) and then sleeping on the street in protest when the government tried to pull the house down. Climbing lampposts with signs saying “Remember Sharpeville”. Getting arrested. I’ll have to scan them and post them one day.

So anyway, since we should all appreciate what we have I would like to say this:

For my genes
For my jeans
For teaching me everything I know about motorbikes
For not involving us in your divorce
For introducing me to Bob Dylan
For walking me down the aisle
For giving me my freedom
For giving me the best sister I could dream of
For my education
For your hilarious songs
For being Ray (Ray will pay)
For my sense of self
For my perfect childhood

Thank you, thank you and thank you again. And happy birthday

Oh and one thing you can take back? The indecision, please. That you can keep. I think. Well, maybe it’s okay. I guess its good to see things from both points of view. Is it? I don’t know. Maybe.

All pictures by my dad. For more info on them click here

Wedding photo by my talented and fabulous friend Mr. Dom Lever


Angela said...

Here`s to your dad, my brother Vic.
I know how old he is now, but I`m not telling. Congratulations, my childhood buddy (in spite of all the cutting off hair of my Micki and such).I remember well how you looked with your long hair and your cool guitar (can contribute a few pictures, too!)
Miranda, I have always thought he chose well in marrying your absolute Nr. One-Mom , no matter if they parted later. Resulting in you and Tam - the perfect girls that you are. I know he deeply loves you both, and I also think he is a great artist, and so - wasn`t it a good decision to leave your home town and seek adventures in Africa, Vic? I know you agree. Lots of good wishes from here! Geli

Lori ann said...

oh my. you don't need me to tell you how lucky you are! but you are.

now you've gone and made me have tears with my coffee...for the lovely tribute to your wonderful dad and for what me or my children never had(my dad,their dad)...

i LOVE the paintings! i would buy one if i had the chance, my mother is an artist too, i have a few of her oils on my walls-only she painted seascapes. and once she painted me.

Beautiful,beautiful wedding photo, its really perfect.

happy birthday to your dad!

xx lori

tam said...

aah. sniff sniff.
He's 65, dude! A milestone. (he doesn't mind telling). And aside from the fact that he doesn't seems it, doesn't feel it and doesn't look it, he's also hardly prepared for it... been living his life too well to remember about things like retirement and pension plans.. aah well. Love that last pic, so sweet.

BlouKous said...

My dad turns 60 in a couple of weeks and I share your sentiments exactly. I used to marvel at the fact that he simply didn't embarrass us even when he cut holes in his shoes that were too small so that his toes had more space...

He is my hero and always will be.

Ernest de Cugnac said...

Gosh. Interesting stuff about your parents. Had a look at your dad's paintings. Wonderful. And you as a blushing bride.

Loved your electricity post! But had to mutter bloody hell several times (as no doubt you did).

Ernest de Cugnac said...

ps - meant to comment on your linking which I see you now have down to a fine art.

Miranda said...

Geli - yes I'm also glad dad decided to move to Africa and to marry my fab mother. (although I'm sorry this means I haven't really got to know YOU that well). I often wonder what I would have been like if I grew up in a different place or if my parents had married other people...

Lori - thank you for your kind words. I'm sorry you or your children didn't get to know their fathers. But there are so many other things to be thankful for...and thanks for wedding photo comment. It was in a ruined chapel on the beach in Zanzibar. A small affair - 30 people. Perfect!

Tam - 65 bloody hell! Who'da thought. Another thing I'm thankful for (but didn't know how to put it) is that those sorts of things aren't a big deal (forgetting how old your parents are, not making a big deal out of Christmas. Know what I mean?) Ha, I love that last pic too! I see you're frantically swotting up on your reading!!!

Bloukous - I LOVE the shoe-toe cutting thing! Hilarious and EXACTLY something that someone in my family would do. Maybe it's an Africa thing??

Ernest - thanks for the visit. The LINKING! How exciting is THAT!! I was looking in the wrong place all along for the world-chain-linky thing! I literally shrieked when I finally spotted it!

Miranda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Antler said...

I too think your Blog is Dad's parents lived in Lesotho but sadly I never got to meet them - or him.

You are lucky to know yours....

Keep at it and thanks for visiting mine.

Val said...

hey HAPPY BIRTHDAY VIC!!! Hope it was a great one and to quote a friend "I hope you had a birthday you cant remember" teehee

Fabulous post Miranda! all good xx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

A lovely tribute to your dad. Yes, dad's are immensely special. I wish I had talked more to my own dad when he was alive but I talk to him now. It's just not the same though is it.

Lovely pictures and great wedding photo.

CJ xx

tam said...

haha. that porcupine pic really is so funny.

Miranda said...

Tam - heh, aint it just! He should do more of those.

Crystal - thanks for the visit. Yes dad's are special and you're lucky that you can still communicate with yours. I hope I'll be able to!

Val - thanks. Heh heh, good one.

Antler - thanks for the visit again. Sorry you never met your dad (or his) Lesotho is beautiful.

Janelle said...

ahhhhhhhhhhh sniff sniff ...whoa...beautiful mo and HAPPY BIRFDAY BWANA VICSDEAD!!! XXXX janelle