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Happy 80th Birthday Dad

Tom Winnifrith
Thursday 5 April 2018

My father knows why I am in New York rather than Shipston and approves so he has had to make do with a card (which has arrived) and a present (which has not). But he is aware of what it is, something that combines two of his great loves in life: Kent and cider. Fingers crossed it will arrive tomorrow.

I have been sent photos from his carer E, of him grinning into a camera with cards on the shelf as he celebrates this great landmark. I'm sure that each of what he terms the nest of vipers, that is to say his six children and step children, will be in touch as well as many of the 17 grandchildren ranging from the eldest (just started at a minor university in the Fens) down to Joshua. 

I would imagine that otherwise it is business as usual. Digest the Guardian and, as one of its most loyal if also most reactionary readers, splutter to carer E ( a sound Trump and Brexit loving right winger) about how it is all lies and "fashionable left wing filth." Then there will be a trip to the office ( aka the White Bear) which may allow him to buy yet another copy of the Big Issue from the fat Bulgarian who is picked up every day in a silver Merc and who often flies home for holidays. This will give him pleasure as he knows how much this annoys both myself and E so he may even buy two copies from the far scrounger as a Birthday treat.

Then there will be some ITV 3 detective re-runs and perhaps a good book. By his living room chair there are a selection of books he deems good and worthy of a re-read, a good number of which are by his favourite author, Dr TJ Winnifrith. Modesty is a family trait.

Maybe a resolution for Dad's 81st year to help with the blood pressure: cancel the Guardian subscription and release your inner reactionary: treat yourself to the forbidden pleasure of the Daily Mail each day and perhaps the Telegraph as well. Good for the blood pressure and it would annoy my lefty sisters to boot. What's not to like?

My father brought me up, largely, as a single parent so I owe him an enormous amount. I'm sorry not to be at the White Bear today with him but happy birthday anyway to a great father and grandfather.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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