Come on, make my day

That was Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

Seems awfully dated, doesn’t it and isn’t the sort of Make My Day Lisa had in mind when she challenged us with her Bite Sized Memoire

It Made My Day

She was looking at those joyous moments when something brings out a smile or uncontrolled giggles that stay with you for pretty much always.

linda bristol

Made my day: on my motorbike at last; my 21st, off on honeymoon; I love your dancing

Being married for 30 years (and dating for 7 before that) there are  a fair few made-my-day moments with and about the Textiliste.

As a parent there are so many moments when something happens to make your day: their achievements, their meeting challenges, their own surprises. Sometimes big ones: graduations, student elections, winning a prize, scoring a goal, winning a place at uni, running a half marathon. Sometime they are small. Lying on a bath mat and giggling at the cat. An unexpected hug.

This blog has often had me turning back in time, to my relationship with my father. So, rather than children or spouse it is to the old bugger we turn for  a story. Here goes:

I took my time discovering the joy of sport, or participating. At 11 rugby appeared and being a big lump they put me in the team. Even if, then, I couldn’t catch or pass or run, I could lean better than most. Dad, a rugby lover from childhood was pleased and came to watch. He didn’t hide his disappointment that all I did was amble from one scrum to the next and lean. He cajoled, berated me from the touchline. At 13 I went to a new school – rugby was played from 15 on. I shrank, relatively, and found hands and muscles. I moved to the backs. We played at weekends only in the sixth form. Dad came to see my first team debut at fullback – a 51-0 thumping. ‘Possibly not the worst fullback display ever’ was his opinion. He missed other games: one day the car caught fire, another Mum broke her toe before he left home. At last, just before Christmas he came to see the first XV versus the Old Boys. School hadn’t won for over ten years. We pulled it off 6-4, and I made a last ditch tackle at full stretch in the 79th minute. When I stood he was applauding. No words needed.

A few weeks ago I had a cracking Make My Day moment when the Lawyer suggested we fill the last remaining three weeks of his break before the next part of his course with a boys’ trip (the Textiliste and Vet have academic commitments). It didn’t take long to pick New Zealand so in just over one week I will meet the son and (he hopes) heir in the Land of the Long White Table Napkin. Not sure about the posts but I’m sure there will be a few.

Finally, the other day, I watched TV programme about Queen. One song struck me as appropriate. It was the last they made, when Freddie Mercury knew he was dying from Aids. He could barely stand making this but his sentiments were rock solid:  he had lived life to the full and despite the imminence of the end he still managed to love. That thought, that even at the end love will out and will not stop made me smile. I hope I can be that sanguine. That thought, though, made my day. Thank you Freddie. RIP.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in families, flash fiction, memoires, miscellany, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Come on, make my day

  1. Amber Prince says:

    What a wonderful story!

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  2. Fantastic. Love the Bite Size memoir of Dad, the description of parenting/marriage (so true), and the nod to Freddie. We were JUST watching Queen online two days ago. Specifically, watching and reading about Freddie. Learned quite a bit as I was too young when I actually listened to Queen to be interested in such things. I hope you and the Lawyer have an awesome holiday!

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    • TanGental says:

      Thank you. I will post about it when I can. And he has already told me we are black water rafting and bungee jumping.. gulp! I had this very strong image of plummeting earthwards as my retinas shot back past me which I shared with him. ‘Don’t worry old fella; at least then you won’t see anything to be worried about’. The comfort that having children grants you.

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  3. willowdot21 says:

    I want to say what wonderful insights you always give us , your stories of heath home and family and even days out always ring bells for me! So there I have . I also want to say I watch that program on Queen , I love Queen deeply they somehow affected my life even more than the group I followed in my teens. I loved Freddy, and I love the song “Days of our lives” I think even in near death Freddy was so beautiful and that pure pure voice. As he turns to the camera in the last seconds and speaks to us the fan or the casual viewer he means it when he says ” I still love you ” I also love the theme to Highlander he knew he was dying by the time Queen wrote and performed this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L8-FTvSVxs&channel=PPLEADER

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  4. Charli Mills says:

    Dirty Harry! I like the later movie that adds, “Go ahead Punk, make my day!” Eastwood has had great influences on my life. I got to see him at a distance once and a friend was a firefighter on set when he filmed a movie in Reno, Nevada. He is actually an introvert, but has a grand sense of humor. He’s a creative actor and director who pushes boundaries and takes artistic risks. Makes my day that you mentioned him!

    For that person in life who is hard to please, applause at last needs no words. Good that you chose to be a more engaged parent. See–you get grown kids who still want to be around you! Keep us posted on New Zealand!

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    • TanGental says:

      His oranutang movies were favs of the Textiliste and me back in the 80s. When we first met she had a Poster of him from High Plains Drifter. Two mules for sister Sarah and Gran Torino… Oh the list goes on.

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  5. Sherri says:

    ‘When I stood he was applauding. No words needed.’ This brings a lump to my throat, wonderful story Geoff. And as for Clint, well, you stole my line, haha! Love Dirty Harry. Should you be so interested and have a spare second or two (what’s that, I hear you ask) here is a post I wrote about the time I met him: http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2014/02/28/six-degrees-of-separation-and-thank-you-todd-fisher/
    We watched that programme about Queen…what more can be said about that? Very moving, a true entertainer was the incomparable Freddie Mercury.
    Hopefully catch up with you before Geoff, but if not, have a wonderful time in New Zealand,with the boys, a place I’ve never visited but would love to. Looking forward to the pics…happy, safe travels 🙂

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  6. A lovely story of your Dad. That generation didn’t show the emotion we expect today and I can understand his clap making your day. Well done too for your football victory. That would probably alone have been enough to make my day.
    Great films. I don’t think I can think of one Clint Eastwood film I haven’t enjoyed. We have seen that film here as well and I can remember being blown away by Freddie Mercury. I had no idea prior to that as have to admit I’m not much of a groupie.
    Enjoy your trip down our way. The weather here is perfect and am hoping for selfish reasons that it will also be good in NZ. I head across the Tasman in a couple of weeks also but doubt our paths will cross with the itinerary planned by the Lawyer. The highest I plan going is the podium and it will be from there that I may feel like jumping. Have a great holiday.

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  7. Pingback: Make My Day: Bite Size Memoir | A View From My Summerhouse

  8. Lisa Reiter says:

    So sorry I am so late getting over here. Bad back and a grumpy weekend, not that it stopped me leaning over my iPad and enjoying a bit of Dirty Harry. I LOVE this scene. Crazy as it sounds I often think of it as a good example of how you should pay attention to what changes in your routine and everything you take for granted – just in case it’s the ‘sugar warning’ on something else!

    As for Freddie.. Tears I’m afraid. His beautiful writing makes my day but the emotion it evokes, upset a whole cart of apples. This one and ‘Who wants to live forever.”

    Killer Queen 🙂

    And than you for the wonderful bite here.. I feel for the youthful LePard and the whole bunch of us brought up by parents perhaps too fearful any praise or encouragement might make us too cocky!

    Lisa ❤

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  9. lucciagray says:

    Glad you have the memory of your dad clapping! It was hard to live up to the expectations of the ‘older generation’ of parents. I tell my children how proud I am of them very often, for small things, probably because I missed being told myself, even for the ‘big’ things!
    I’m going to use the Clint scene in class! We’re discussing crime and the third conditional, I think that’ll get some conversation going!
    Enjoy New Zealand! Looking forward to reading all about it:)

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