Happy Father’s Day to the man who taught me many invaluable skills. From how to ride a bike and mastering a supermarket shop to winning board games without cheating (even though nobody believes me on that one) and tying a tie, he’s done it all. Over the years, we’ve exchanged as many text messages about Strictly Come Dancing as we have about tennis and cricket (example: me, “what’s the cricket version of not a break until you’ve held?” followed by his reply of, “I think England have lost the first match 6-1, 6-0, 6-2”).
He won’t readily admit to it, but despite his ambivalence to all members of the animal kingdom, Dad likes to indulge in televised equestrianism almost as much as I do (when I was hard at work in the library studying for my finals, he was watching Badminton’s cross country day, waiting to see the then-new air jackets inflate). We also share a love of cake, but whilst my adoration begins and ends with consumption, Dad’s fascination is with baking. It’s a good match, really.
Mary Berry and my famous-on-the-Internet Nana have fostered his love for mastering new recipes and, as he has been there every step of the way as I’ve passed (and sometimes failed) exams and fallen off horses, I cheer him on every time a new creation makes it out of the oven and onto a plate. Sometimes, they don’t look like the picture in the book, but they always taste better than any which can be bought.
He feeds me, ferries me around, and turns up in his International Rescue (props if you get the reference) shirt whenever I need to move house. Enjoy your day, Dad – sorry I’m missing it (again).