Thursday, 7 June 2012

~ Octogenarian ~

Mum and Dad out dancing,
they loved to dance.
and I loved to watch them.
They were as light as air.

Monday was my father's eightieth birthday.
I went to see him and my stepmum on Friday. He is quite proud and happy to have reached this great age. The week before, they had been to a garden party at Buckingham Palace and had seen the Queen within touching distance....

As a Young Man

With his younger Brother

A love of Motorbikes.....which he passed on to me :~)

Always having a love of horses, he show jumped for many years.

On Happy Boy over the Jumps
With my brother at a show, when my brother had taken over the show jumping

Later, he was a colourful spectacle on the roads, driving a lorry full of brightly painted jumps and towing a caravan when he was the course builder for 'Area 36' of the BSJA (British Show Jumping Association). It was a hard, physically demanding thing to do, ( I helped him on many occasions, so I know firsthand!!), so when he got older, he passed it on to a younger man and switched to being, first a timing judge, then a judge. When I spoke to him last week he said that now he was 'as blind as a bat and as deaf as a post' he has retired, but was thrilled to be included in the BSJA visit to Buckingham Palace. My stepmum showed me the outfit she had worn, and it was beautifully elegant and understated ~ black and cream.....and she looks great in a hat :~)))

He apprenticed and worked for many years as an electrician. He was often called out to neighbouring farms to fix some electrical fault or other; paid in kind with whatever was in season.

 In the sixties, he trained as a lecturer and taught in a college in Cardigan town ten miles away, until he took early retirement when my mother was ill with cancer. She died the day before his retirement became official.

Lecturing at Cardigan College

He has been lucky in love, marrying two very different, very incredible women.

He and I do not have an easy relationship....I have always refused to be controlled! But, I love him dearly and am utterly grateful to him for providing such a perfect place for me to grow up in, instilling in me a love of horses, and giving me the opportunity to ride them on a daily basis.

He only has one pony left now......the wonderful Twts......


who I last photographed nearly five years ago when she was 39 years old.
She has not changed at all, even though she is now 44. On Friday, I 'helped' him get her in, (a matter of opening the gate!). She comes in at night, is out in the field during the day and gets fed twice, with nourishing pony food fit for an old dame like herself.

I've only realised as I worked on this piece that I do not have a photo of my stepmum. She does not like her photo taken, but I know they have photos over at my old home, so I need to get some copied. Also, when I went to take a photo of Dad on Friday...the battery was flat....Our Boy had been using it without my knowing :~)))


  1. Helen it was lovely reading about your Dad ... 80 is a great milestone.
    What a wonderful life! I enjoyed seeing the motorbikes (my dad loved his motor bikes too). And to read about the showjumping in your family...I have a family of showjumpers too. Husband and two sons. My eldest lives overseas (spent quite a few years in the UK) showjumping, so it was all exciting for me to hear.
    Lovely post, and congratulations to your dad!

    Jacky xox

    1. Hi Jacky....thank you so wonderful that we also have this in common. I wonder if Dad may have heard of your son.

      Hope you are well :~))

  2. Helen, this was a great tribute to your dad. What an interesting life he's had so far! Love the pony and love even more that he and she have stayed together. Makes me feel VERY good. xo

    1. Hi Peggy. It was so lovely to see him with Twts...I could feel a quiet sort of pride from him....they are both still here and together ~ yes.

      Blessed be. x x x

  3. Helen, what a grand post to celebrate your dad's big day! I love hearing the stories of his life and looking at the distinctive photographs too!

    1. Thank you so much Nancy....I enjoyed working on this post. I felt more understanding towards him.....a softening of the defensiveness. It was good.

      x x x

  4. Congratulations to your Dad on his birthday and thank you for sharing your wonderful memories.cariad mawr, M xx