Category: Relationships

“Shinier than a diamond in a goat’s arse”

Yesterday I spent half a day washing my car. Now, to many of you that sounds liek a boring prospect. Indeed, to ME it sounds like a boring prospect. But here’s the thing: I wasn’t doing it on my own. I was doing it with my father.

Me and dad have had a strained relationship over the years. There’s times he was there for me, times he wasn’t. Times I later found out where he fought my corner but never told me. We had a LONG period where we barely spoke to each other. There were many times I vowed I’d never be like him.

But recently, we’ve been building bridges. He has helped me out a LOT with my house, dealing with the shit time at work, and he’s mellowed out a lot. And so any opportunity I get to spend some quality time with Dad, seems like a good thing to me.

He had this cleaning treatment for the car called “Diamond White”. It’s some chemical compound you apply to the car, wait half an hour, apply a different chemical compoud, wait an hour, then buff it up and it’s all shiny and supposedly you don’t have to wax your car for 5 years.  We spent the morning applying this crap all over the car, talking about the news, my trip to Cuba, and all manner of other things. It was great.

At one point he gave me some metal polish so I could “get the chrome bits shiny as a diamond in a goat’s arse”. I told him it wasn’t chrome just plastic. “Just do it!” he said. Then he told me to do the wheels.
“The wheels aren’t chrome,” I said.
“I don’t give a shit, get them shiny, ” he replied. This should give you some insight into the sort of person my dad is. Still, I got those wheels shiny as hell. I’m glad he talked me into it.

After the car was gleaming brighter than the sun, Dad took me out for lunch in town. We talked about how much the place has changed over the past twenty years or so and shared travel stories. After that, he took me to a health food shop to buy me “some vegan goodies”.

It was one of the best days I’ve ever had. Not just because my car was shining and I get some sweet seitan jerky. I realised that for all our faults, me and my dad are actually pretty similar.

And I’m pretty proud of that.

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I never found the game beautiful except for this one time…

Me and my father have had a bit of an odd relationship over the years. There’s been numerous reasons for it, which I’m not going to list here, and blame lies on both sides. However, over the last year or so we’ve both been making more of an effort to build bridges over all the bad blood which has flowed in the past.

And honestly, things are pretty awesome at the moment. Yesterday I did something which, had you asked about two years ago, I’d have categorically said “That will never happen” – I sat with my dad and watched the F.A. Cup Final.

I despise football (that’s soccer to all you merkins), and I always have. I hate the showboating of the players. I don’t understand the rules. I find it boring. I don’t understand the attraction. I just find it boring. My dad loves football. He also hates the showboating. He understands the rules because he used to play semi-professionally. Obviously he doesn’t find it boring.

So we had the hatred of showboating in common. But then I realised there was something more. The two teams playing were Arsenal and Hull City. Hull city were absolute underdogs, and Arsenal are supposedly one of the best teams in the country. My dad is a Tottenham Hotspur (“Spurs”) supporter, so naturally hates Arsenal (“The Gunners”) – Spurs and The Gunners are rival London teams, see. I have a natural penchant for always rooting for the underdog, and so we had a second common point of interest.

So imagine our elation when mere minutes into the game, Hull City smashed one into the back of the net. A few minutes later they sent another one in. We were less than ten minutes into the game and “our” team was already 2-0 up. Of course, dad and I were cheering and discussing what the Gunners were doing wrong. I went along with Dad’s suggestions, as I had no real clue about what ANYONE was doing, right or wrong.

The game went into extra time, due to Arsenal gradually clawing back to equalise over the remaining 80 minutes of the game. It looked as if the match would go on to penalties, but Arsenal managed to knock another one in late into the second half of extra time, and that was that. Still, Hull gave them a run for their money.

Dad and I caught up on bits and bobs, and then he showed me a bunch of books which he had found which I might be interested in. Including some cold war thrillers, some books I vaguely remember from my childhood, and some German school books which he originally learned from. He then gave me a lift home.

All in all, it was probably the best Saturday I’ve had in a long time. Thanks Dad.