Topic “Dad's blog”

My favourite toy

Did you have a favourite toy when you were a child?

Did you have a favourite toy when you were a child? I remember being especially attached to an action figure. I played with my action man for hours on end. His military garb eventually fell apart or was lost, leaving him butt-naked. So, inspired by my comic-book heroes, I got hold of red nail polish and painted on Superman-style underwear. This gave him an Aquaman vibe, so he spent a lot of time in the pool with me or in the imaginary underwater world that was my bedroom.

Shoe story

I was more bemused than surprised the other night when I received a What’s App message from her, asking me to broker a shoe deal

My sister has a lot of shoes. I’m sure if she auctioned them off, she’d have enough money to buy a small country. My teenage daughter is fully aware that her aunt has her own personal shoe boutique in her home – she has been the happy recipient of a few hand-me-downs already. So I was more bemused than surprised the other night when I received a What’s App message from her, asking me to broker a shoe deal: Please would I ask my sister if she has a pair of high-heel wedge boots to lend her for the weekend.

You got served

My daughter and I went out for supper the other night, and had an experience which I’ve chalked up as a life lesson.

My daughter and I went out for supper the other night, and had an experience which I’ve chalked up as a life lesson. We both enjoy Italian food, so we found a suitable restaurant where the queues weren’t snaking out the door and the ambience was pleasant enough. Unfortunately, the view didn’t make up for the appalling meal we were served. We both ordered lasagne off the extensive menu.

Good advice

I’m sure your parents gave you all sorts of advice when you were growing up
I’m sure your parents gave you all sorts of advice when you were growing up. Follow your heart, look both ways before crossing the road; stuff like that. At the time, the correlation between my plate of food and global poverty made no sense to me, but it seemed really important to my mother – I can still hear her encouraging me with a stern tone to eat my food because there are lots of starving children in Africa.

Saddle up

I reckon doing something with my child that she really loves is definitely worth braving a little apprehension.

My daughter has suggested that I join her for a horse ride one sunny day. I think it’s a great idea, as long as it doesn’t involve galloping at high speed or leaping over objects. I haven’t ridden a horse since I was a boy, so imagine my apprehension about hopping on the back of one of these lumbering beasts again after all these years. I learnt to ride bareback on a farm, but that doesn’t mean I feel super-confident about getting back up there.

What dreams are made of

“Chad le Clos was 12 when he saw his hero, Michael Phelps, aged 19, in Athens. Eight years later, Chad beat Phelps. Tell a 12-year-old to dream.”

“Chad le Clos was 12 when he saw his hero, Michael Phelps, aged 19, in Athens. Eight years later, Chad beat Phelps. Tell a 12-year-old to dream.”

Space to move

There must be something about being outdoors, with the grass under your feet and the open sky above your head, or the thrill of dad pushing you high on a swing or moving down a slide on his lap to curb cabin fever

A good mate of mine recently moved to the city from his seaside home. It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. After all, this is Cape Town we’re talking about. A true concrete jungle would be pushing it for someone who loves the outdoors as much as he does. His two young girls aged seven and four have benefited immensely from his love of nature and exploration. His Facebook page is peppered with photos of their latest escapades, the most recent being a walk beside a fast-flowing mountain stream.

Building blocks

There are many community projects on the go all over the country happening well away from the limelight, which make a huge difference.
I was a few years older than my teenage daughter is now when I headed off into rural KwaZulu-Natal with a group of builders. Well, some of us weren’t really builders. I’d never laid one brick on another in my life before, but I knew how to hammer nails into wooden beams without smashing my fingers too often.

Feel the Goodness

These 21 photos capture moments when humans have reached out and brought light into the world.

My daughter loves photography – both taking photographs herself and appreciating images captured by others. She can spend hours – and eat through copious amounts of bandwidth – surfing photo-rich sites like Tumblr, especially if they have something to do with horses. Like every other child her age, and like many adults of all ages, she enjoys the humorous photos that get shared across social media channels and via email.

Celebrating my father

What matters to me is that I’ll always remember the role my father has played in my life

It was my dad’s seventieth birthday recently, so I hopped on a plane to Durban for a weekend to celebrate. My dad is a real character. One particular idiosyncrasy is his all-consuming passion for his pets, his surrogate children. If he spots someone on the beach walking their dogs, he’ll strike up a random conversation about his latest animal saga – the new puppy he’s about to get or the anguish he still feels at the loss of his beloved Staffie of 12 years – whether the person wants to hear it or not.

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