Alan Roy Thompson
I am so very proud to call you my Daddy. Thank you for the life that you and Mummy gave us that was filled with love, joy and adventure. Thank you for caring about things that mattered and teaching us to do the same, for installing in me a strong belief that apathy is the worst thing of all and that kindness is the greatest.
I look back and see how very lucky we were that you worked so hard to ensure no opportunity slipped us by. I loved helping you in the office ripping the margins off dot matrix print outs, putting stamps on envelopes and doodling on the desk where you taught me how to draw your own (dubious) take on Mickey Mouse. I remember thinking you were the coolest cat in town when you were an early adopter of the mobile phone and that it was too expensive to ever make a call on. I vividly remember holding your hand so tightly on the tube when we went to go and see if the queen was home. And I remember as a teen coming to Battersea with you and venturing off on my own for the day while you did the stock at a pub just over the bridge. I remember the excitement of being picked up from school early, jumping in the car and heading down the M5 before the traffic got bad. Thank you for saying that our home-made rose petal perfumes smelt lovely. Thank you for taking us to the seaside in all weathers and teaching us to catch minnows and crabs. Thank you for being chased by screaming hoardes of children at summer birthday parties. Thank you for teaching us that Santa liked a Guinness and that everyone else had it wrong. Thank you for rubbing my nose as I came round from surgery. I do the same to Hattie and Eddie when they are poorly, and it’s magic. Thank you for taking me to university interviews and for being such a charmer you could talk your way out of a speeding fine on the drive home from East Anglia.
Thanks also for saying yes a lot. “Dad can Kris and I drive to London, sleep in St James’s park, and get up at dawn to be on Horse Guards Parade for Diana’s funeral?” “Yes, but take Connors’ Car”. You were in the Red Lion at the time which might explain it. Dad, “you know we met that man in the Lickey Hills with a monkey? Can we get one?” … “Ask your mother!” (Always much easier than saying no!)
I talk about you a lot in my lessons at school – when introducing poaching I tell the story of the night you took on the armed intruders on Ham Lane in your pants. I teach a lesson called “is my dad right about Henry V?” – sorry but most kids say you were wrong about him. I always talk about how both our paths crossed with the Cadburys when I teach about philanthropy. So you are there a lot, right by my side and you always will be.
I even love that we didn’t always agree on things. “If you haven’t voted Labour before you’re 25 you have no heart, if you still vote Labour you have no sense” – that’s what you’d say, but even I remember you enjoying seeing me get fired up in 1997, parading round the house singing “Things can only get better”.
I loved going to the rugby with you, in Ireland, in Bath and at Twickers. I was never able to keep up with your ability to inhale a pint, but I enjoyed the craic all the same. I can remember watching Bath on the tele, spotting you in the crowd, calling you, and you standing up and doing a little dance. And Pete is going to miss having his sports pundit on hand to digest the performance of everyone from the Villa to Yeovil Town.
And thank you for being spikey grandad, for doing your thing with magic keys and telling silly stories, being a climbing frame for my babies, being the one to strip off and get in the paddling pool with them, letting them help you feed the birds. Thank you for dancing like nobody was watching and having a song for everything.
I love you so much and I am grateful that you are a part of me and a part of my babies too.
Love you always
Charlie-Rose, Pedro and the Kiddiewinks