Life moves on

So long since I've blogged, but no time like the present to begin again. Life moves on, in more ways than one. Sadly my dear father Ray passed away last month, aged 82.
When I had to put together some pictures on a board for his memorial service, there was one photo of him that I needed to find. I’m not sure why, but I always loved this photo taken just after he married my Mother and became my Father in the mid 1970's.

Ray came to Australia in the fifties with the British Atomic Testing team to work at Maralinga for six years, after which he settled here and began a career as a meteorologist. We lived in Darwin, Alice Springs, Port Hedland and Perth, moving around with his work. This photo was taken in a friend’s back garden when we were living in Perth between posts away. Maybe it’s the novelty boot-shaped glass from which he is enjoying a cold drink on a summer’s day that caught my attention as a child. It’s funny that he is having a beer here, because Ray was not a great drinker and his life was far more about simpler things such as gardening, the weather, pets, pots of tea and his role with the Uniting Church as a lay minister. The long socks, sandals and shorts he is wearing in this photo were his uniform for many years in the summer months. He had a great sense of humour however and was in many ways like a big kid all his life, which is probably why I loved him so much when he became my Dad.

I now have this photograph framed at home and looking at it brings my own mortality to mind. It seems like yesterday he was a middle-aged man enjoying his new life and family in Perth. But in fact, it was less than a month ago that I sat with a frail elderly man as he passed away. The years in between seem to have condensed in my memory. How fleeting life can seem.