In June of this year, my Dad aka Douglas-Henry would have been 100 years old. He was born after the Spanish flue in a place called Mvuma in Zimbabwe. I don’t think he would have taken kindly to the present lockdowns or booze ban (yes they have banned alcohol for the third time). He did however make his own mulberry wine and beer, which was quite lethal if I remember correctly, it could knock your socks off.
He was a futurist and predicted the landing on the moon when he was a child. People laughed at him and said it was impossible. He rode to school on a donkey and when he got there it was time to go home.
He made his own radio and grew up to be an electrical engineer. He taught me the inner workings of washing machines and he could fix any electrical crisis in two ticks. He was still climbing electricity pylons at 70 and had a portfolio of all the electrical installations and substations he had been involved in through the years.
He loved technology and was always keen to learn new things, however, he couldn’t boil an egg or make a cup of tea.
He was a member of a club in every city and he frequently played at the 19th hole.
In his 20s he drove from Bulawayo to Nairobi in a Morris minor where he met my English Mother..
I don’t really miss him because I have dreams about him riding a skateboard with my son, Stevie. He is in a much better place and he gets to hang out with some really cool post-material people.
He was a crazy brilliant dude who didn’t have much emotional intelligence, but hey, he lived in an era when you didn’t talk about your feelings. I think I got my love for science fiction from him and a taste for the exotic.
He used to say to me “your best isn’t good enough and sorry is too late”, which I think is absolute BS! He expected far too much of me, which didn’t bode well for me or him because I’m a rebel at heart.
He liked me quite a lot though, and on good days I would call him “Daddykins”. I think I taught him more than he taught me in the end, the loving part didn’t always come easy to him.
Believe it, your kids are your greatest teachers, I know mine are!
However, unknowingly he did teach me to be curious, to think for myself and question everything, even him!!