This picture was taken in June 1978, maybe even on Father’s Day itself, on the suspension bridge. On the right is my lovely Mum, heavily pregnant with my sister who arrived a few days later. On the left is my fabulous dad, with me on his shoulders.
Everything’s just as it should be. Mum’s incredible maternity fashion, complete with wedges I couldn’t have worn past month four of pregnancy. Dad’s flared slacks and his short sleeved shirts (Not sure he actually owns a long sleeved one to this day). And me, riding on his shoulders. He looks a lot like me, and I look a lot like my daughter. Weird.
I’ve chosen this for Father’s Day as my dad is even more outnumbered by women these days. My folks are divorced and he has a wonderful partner of 20+ years, and two new granddaughters. So it seemed right to show him, at the start of a family life, right here in Bristol where they lived happily and brought my sister into the world.
Bristol has happy memories for both my parents and they are so excited that I’ve moved here. Dad’s even been to visit (this happened once in 13 years in London). I love hearing his stories about living in Brecon Rd (up in Henleaze) and Mum’s tales of being a new parent here. She was one of the first ever women to do an NCT course, and had to go to Bath to do it!
They both tell me of how much things have changed, the harbourside, the house prices, the pubs. And the things that haven’t – that making friends in Bristol is a pleasure, that the green spaces and the easy-going lifestyle makes you happy.
I think my dad is permanently in awe of his granddaughters, and I’ve done my best to make him and mum proud of me. Ahead of Father’s Day, where I hopefully get to thank Dad in person, I just wanted to give a small tribute to my parents, the orginal Bristol parents themselves.