Yesterday I was out til late with my Dad and StepMum for a Saturday night dinner and drinks eve for my Hubby’s birthday. We first went to view our new boat from the harbour (my Dad needed binoculars). If ever an optometrist needs a new format for eye-tests I have discovered one called ‘spot the boat’. This involves standing at a jetty in front of an estuary full of 50 plus sailing boats of various different shapes sizes and colours. You then try to identify a specific boat by describing features nearby. Such as “to the left of the boat with the blue hull”, to which my dad replies, “Oh I see it the one with the blue hull and the yellow buoyancy aid on the back”, to which I reply “no not that boat with the blue hull, the other one…..OK lets try something else….see the large catamaran?”. It took about 10 minutes before (I think) my Dad finally located the boat. I think he was expecting something bigger, I suppose we all have our own ideas of what 18 foot of boat looks like.
My Dad’s eyesight is not great, the result of several car accidents when he was younger. The most memorable one I remember my Mum describing to me, was when he flew over the top of the steering wheel and the windscreen just popped out because the seal was so rotten (they didn’t wear seatbelts in the 70s…or at least my Dad and his friends didn’t). Apparently my Dad was sat with his friend at the bottom of a deep ditch staring up at the car with its engine still running and lights on full beam. It happened so quick that one minute they were in the car and the next they were underneath it. I’m not sure about whether to believe this next bit, but my Mum was at home in bed when the accident happened and she said she woke up when she felt a sharp bang to the back of her head and neck. She thinks this happened around about the same time that Dad flew out of the car…kind of like a sixth sense? Well you believe what you want to believe don’t you?
That certainly wasn’t the last accident my Dad had, neither was it the worst. He flew through the windscreen with far graver consequences in a separate incident and has little red lines in his eyes where the glass from the windscreen was extracted.
Thankfully this all happened while I was either a glint in Dad’s eye (inappropriate use of language in this context) or when I was still in nappies. In the village where we lived at the time, Dad was known as ‘rent a ditch’. I can’t think why….
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Thanks for reading.