Sunday, September 6, 2009

You've got to keep in mind love is here today

We had fathers' day in NZ last Sunday. It was nice - I wished my dad a happy day and my children all wished me one too. I like connections like this and it only needs to be a thought doesn't it? It's really why this weblog exists - to make connections. I still love the fact that these little posts wing their way out into the big wide world.

I was impressed the family all remembered actually. Samantha is in another country, Keegan and Adam are in different places in New Zealand and all had to think about me. Jade, of course, is still at home but will probably be in Wellington next year. The empty nest is getting closer.

I am always fascinated by father/son and father/daughter relationships. They are substantially different too. I'm more obsessed by the father/son one only because I'm a son, and I'm a father. I've hinted at this in the past - the film Pelle The Conqueror, the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and Robert Bly's Six Winter Privacy Poems are three mentions that spring to mind. Each deals with the subject of how fathers and sons relate. I can't think, off the top of my head, of similar treatments of father/daughters. Can you? Father of the Bride and Three Men and a Baby don't count! I wonder why that is or maybe I'm missing some glaring pieces of literature. Do enlighten me.

Samantha left behind a best of Billy Connolly DVD which I watched a few days ago. In it Billy talks of his relationship with his own father - a pretty difficult one from Billy's point of view. His father couldn't 'get him' and Billy kind of shrugs that off with a - but-that-was-okay kind of comment, then tells a warm story of his father taking a jokey comment of Billy's at face value (a car needing a prescription windshield) and Billy being obliged to go along with it so as not to hurt his father's feelings. I could sense in the routine a feeling of regret on Billy's part - that his father never really approved of the career Billy took - singer/comedian and actor. Which is a shame cos we all have to follow our own path don't we.

I'm reading an interesting book at the moment - Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield, a writer for Rolling Stone magazine (no - I hadn't heard of him either). I got it for $2.50 from Whitcoulls (North Shore City) on their sale table. They had a huge pile of them (oh oh - never a good sign). I needed something to read while staying at dad's place a few weeks ago and this one had a reasonable story and had a strong music bias, was cheap and so I took a punt. I read the back and thought it was a novel - about a husband (also called Rob)/wife (Renee) relationship changed by Renee's death.

Then I started reading it and saw 'memoir' in tiny print on the cover. Well that changed things immediately, and for the better. Fiction revolving around music is rarely successful in my experience. In fact I can only think of one title worth recommending - Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity. Can't think of any others though, how 'bout you? Each chapter of Love...Tape is introduced by the list of songs on a mix tape that meant something to either Rob or his wife. Quite a snazzy idea.

What could potentially be a pretty depressing read - Renee dies young from a pulmonary embolism, or a sloppily sentimental triumph-over-adversity snooze, is actually quite gripping in its own way, clear-headed and affecting. Rob writes well and with some self-deprecation which I always like. If you see it on a sale table in Whitcoulls or WH Smith snap it up!

Couple of photos to end. First is of the hoover dam - dad sent this to me just before he had his stroke. It's really impressive as a photo and as a piece of construction. He also sent some pictures of Samantha's place (38 Blake St) in San Francisco from Google Earth.

And finally - here are some great photos of English countryside from Christine that cheer me up no end!
Love and peace - Wozza

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