Friday, 13 January 2017
A PICTURE OF MY FATHER
'Choice? It's always been perfectly obvious what the next thing to do is. I just get on with it I have never made a choice in my life'
The idea that we have a choice, so accepted now, is a modern idea. For Ralph, and I suspect most of his generation, it was always just doing the next thing, I always knew there was turmoil in his past but he always has been scornful of dwelling on the past, navel gazing - that was never his style, he has always preferred to do the next thing
I understood his pomposity, it was a bit military, but I knew he was more than that stereotype, even if my friends didn't. When I and my friends we were teenagers cynical about everything, would take the piss out of him, his pomposity, his Englishness- so although the rebellious teen in me found it funny when my friends imitated him it would hurt a little. It was too simplistic. Although a maverick and outsider he is still a product of his age. We never knew about his father, he was brought up by his mother yet he has spent his life being the husband and father he never knew. A different very warm funny and caring spirit but quick to anger and difficult to help, there is something of the angry young child about him, eager to prove that he can do it all by himself. That and a very traditional male persona. His story and his life has come to me in fragments I want to tell his story, whether writing it or making a performance out of it. A man who does not know what or who he is... and doesn't really care because there are more important things to be getting on with ...like keeping his home together, his wife and family warm and fed and remembering to lock the car