Dear Daddy......

I think you would have been proud of me this year! I started writing a blog. I can almost hear you saying "a bloody what??" The blogging world was pretty new when you were around but I think you would have quite liked it. You'd probably be my biggest fan and critic rolled in to one. It turned out I didn't quite inherit your creativity with a pencil and sketch pad but I like to think (not to mention hope very strongly) you might have passed down just a little of your literary prowess. I haven't written any books yet like you did but rest assured it's on the to do list, maybe 2018 will be the year it all kicks off for me? I know, 2018. It's crazy isn't it that the last time I called you and wished you a happy new year was in 2007. So much has changed since then. You know that nice guy I met, (no, don't worry, not that one, the good one you approved of) that promised to look after me? Well he's still doing a pretty good job so I've decided he can stay a while longer, he's a good egg. We got married, just like we said we would. Remember it was all booked and you painted us a picture of the castle where we were having the ceremony? Well even though you'd only been gone a few weeks we still went ahead, I hope you approved. I had a photo of you with me all day and lit a candle for you. Oh yes, all the sentimental crap you would have absolutely hated but hey, don't judge, I bloody needed it on the day. It was a good day, Mum walked me down the aisle in the end, well almost, you should have seen us battling to get through the doors because of my stupidly huge dress. I swear I could hear you chuckling at us. 

We have a little dog these days Dad, you would love her. Come to think of it, she reminds me of you actually. Big beard, more than a little grumpy at times, not so keen on strangers. Sweet though. Doesn't moult or eat things like our dog used to, remember when our Sheepdog ate my brownie hat? I tell you, Brown Owl was fuming........! 

You have a grandson! And he knows exactly who you are, knows which are your paintings in the house and tells people so proudly "My Grandad painted that." He loves to play with the beautiful wooden toys you made which I know you hoped would be passed on to grandchildren at some point in the future. He has your picture in a frame in his bedroom, on the shelf next to his Star Wars figures. It was the photograph you were going to have in your book cover, so you look pretty suave don't worry. My God, you two would be firm friends. He's an absolute little devil at times but funny as hell and apparently that's the deal when you're six. He likes to draw and paint, loves football, which I know would have completely passed you by but you'd have definitely struggled to beat him at crazy golf and he's a bit of a hustler with the Dominoes too. Do you remember the Saturday nights we used to sit and play games for hours? You and I would choose a recipe out of the big cookbook, cook it together, usually over an argument over who knows best or in later years, a glass of wine and then we'd sit playing games whilst listening to your many mixtapes. Oh and speaking of mixtapes, technology has moved on a little, this is going to blow your mind but I have my entire music collection on my phone!! 

Back to those games though, I'm still trying to remember all the card games you taught me and need to teach your grandson how to play backgammon, although due to the fact he gets as frustrated as you used to when he loses it could prove interesting... 

I turned 40 Dad. I know, 40. It made me realise all over again how long ago it has been since you were here. I'd only just turned 30 when you died, I didn't feel old enough to deal with it then either. You were only 64, not old at all. Do you remember when I called you on your birthday that year and you said to me "I'm fed up of bloody birthdays, I'm not having any more." I just assumed you were making one of your many dark jokes that I always groaned at (but secretly loved) but never for a second did I think you were being serious. I suppose there's never a good time to leave the party is there? You went too soon, I really would have liked you to have stayed just a little longer. I know, selfish of me hey? 

I found an email from you the other day. Dated 29th May 2007. I, being the usual techy nightmare I truly am, had asked you for some help with something computer related and in true form you replied with a link to something (which of course solved the whole thing) saying "Try this. Good luck, love Daddy." That was you all over. A man of very few words. Why ramble on when you could just say a few and it would suffice? Preferably with a liberal sprinkling of sarcasm and humour of course. 

I hope I have inherited a little of your daftness, your stupidity, your love of all things a little bit dark and humorous. Laughing at the wrong moments, giggling like a fool at the most ridiculous jokes that made little to no sense to anyone else. I know I've definitely inherited your impatience and short temper. Oh and passed it on to your grandson. So yes, cheers for that. 

I miss you. It's been ten whole years and I know that even when it hits twenty or thirty I'll feel the same. I know you weren't big on sentiment, on lighting candles, visiting graves, "just put on my bloody gravestone 'I told you I was ill'" you'd say. 

Oh and if you can send me something more than the odd white feather or a robin appearing in the garden at the same time every day that would be great. A book manuscript perhaps?? 

Love your little girl xxx