Saturdays followed a very regular routine in our household. Various chores needed to be done, but my mother always ensured that my father was able to watch the TV at 4 pm, when the wrestling came on. It's not something I ever developed a taste for, and I suppose there must be some wrestling as part of the Olympics, but I won't be watching it, even if Team GB are potential medal winners. But it was part of who my father was and part of my childhood.
So happy birthday, Dad, and here's a poem sort of about you.
Tea with my father
Saturdays, it was always the wrestling on tv
- the only sport he liked -
and then, after the football results have been intoned,
milk-drenched poached mushrooms
on toast made under the grill and enhanced by the risk,
and weekend tea, made in the teapot,
aromatic loose-leaf Ceylon black
with a spoonful of gunpowder,
warming the pot first of course;
afterwards, arguments over the chores,
clear or put away, wash or dry,
and who has to tip the tea-leaves over
a distant rose-bush that retains its glory
for a sunnier day.