Today is your birthday. You would have been 83, you grand old thing! If you were here, I've no doubt I'd be sitting on the sofa opposite you, laughing at the look of disappointment on your face as you opened your bag of presents. I'm sorry we got you steak and chocolate eclairs twelve years running, but you weren't the easiest man to please, and it was the safest bet! Unless of course we'd gotten you a brand new VW Beetle, but let's be honest, you knew that was never going to happen. And you probably would have crashed it in all the excitement...
I know the chances of you reading this are very slim, but I like to think that anything is possible, so if you do happen to come across this, I apologise in advance for the occasional s-word littered amongst my blog posts. I haven't turned into a foul-mouthed idiot, I promise.
Today I'm signing my contract for a new freelance client. I'm editing books for a publishing company in Munich. I know, it's hard to believe that the same girl that accidentally threw a whole pepperoni pizza over you that time, is now partly responsible for the quality of English books published abroad. I'd like to think, that bearing in mind the date, you've pulled some strings for me up there, and I'll put it down to you that this client seems to think I have more than twelve brain cells. Thank you so much, you beautiful creation! The world works in mysterious ways, Tomcat, and though I can't promise I won't occasionally get mega stressed and pig out on a whole bag of pork scratchings mid-novel, I definitely won't mess it up!
I miss you all the time, but especially today! I miss the fact that you watched Countdown religiously and would put the volume up to 75 so no-one could talk whilst you tried to crack the teatime teaser, I miss hearing you shout obscenities at random pirates in your sleep (am-az-ing), I miss your obsession with making me pose for cringeworthy photographs, I miss the fact that everyone that walked past your window would have a nickname, and not necessarily one that did them any favours, and I miss your endless whinges about how dry that chicken you had last Thursday was. I miss our chinwags about life, and our hugs that would turn into wrestling moves, and listening to all your stories about the war. I'd heard them 4671 times, but every single time was just as interesting as the first! I miss it all, and there's not a single thing I wouldn't do for one last game of 'Angry Snap' with you. I'd love to know how many crumpled playing cards we had to iron between encyclopaedias over the years. We were oh-so-wild!
I hope you've had a good birthday, wherever you may be. I'll light a candle for you later, and I'd love it if you could cause a bit of mischief and try to blow it out. Go on, I dare you! You said you'd come back and haunt me, and I'm holding you to that!
Note to self; be careful what you wish for. Please don't haunt me. Do something that'll make me laugh! Maybe you could make dad float across the living room or something, or failing that, put salt in his coffee.
I love you more than you'll ever know, and I send you a big, sloppy birthday kiss. I couldn't have asked for a better Grandad, and I'm so grateful for every second we had together.
I'll write again soon!
All my love,
PS- You'll be pleased to hear that I don't wear jeans 24/7 these days. Whilst I firmly believe that every girl needs a good pair of jeans, I have taken your advice and decided to be more feminine!
PPS- I love you so much that I've put the photo of us up together, you know, the one where I think I look a 4 tonne walrus/man/Shrek. Seriously, what is up with my hunchback, chubbiness, lack of style, and coppery, carroty, dry looking hair?! You look so happy though, so it will always be one of my favourites. :)