Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Lead by example

At the grandfather's funeral, I gave a short oration. Accustomed as I am to speaking in public, this was a particular challenge...avoid the quivering lip, the emotional hesitation and to say that the grandfather may have been much loved, but was hardly a shining example of fatherhood. I settled on a lighthearted canter through some reminisces of highlights, low lights and just moments in time. The key phrase was that a father should inspire by the things they do well, and children should learn from their father's mistakes.

This weekend was the London to Brighton cycle ride...unfortunately the boy is still too young as you need to be into the second year of teenageship to qualify....next year then. However, in the spirit of the boy having a new cycle (Ironhorse) and my one (Scott) just coming back from being serviced, we decided to check out our cycle legs. Our route to Cuckmere Haven, some 17 miles away, took us along the sea front and directly into the 27,000 charity riders. Directed by smiling, enthusiastic yet firm marshalls straight into the finishing straight we were claqpped and cheered as we tried to shrink smaller and smaller. Maybe we should have grabbed a medal, or at least a free bottle of water but honour dictated that once we'd crossed the finishing line we pedalled as fast and as hard as we could. Hopefully an inspiring mistake...and a tale that went down at both school and office on Monday morning.

Much further on, and after climbing a particularly steep hill on the Downs, we came across a sign dictating 'No cycling'. A wry comment from Dad about how could they let us come this far and only then tell us not to pedal, was met by some pretty harsh comments from walking woman about how we shouldn't be off roading. Sudden loss of humour led to the comment that she should grow up or die. Cutting comments I do well...but perhaps these are things the boy should not learn from.

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