Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Thorntons Christmas Hero: In praise of my dad

I was recently contacted by Thorntons to see if I'd like to take part in their Christmas Hero promotion.  They've been sending out boxes of chocolates to people nominated by bloggers as an early Christmas treat and wondered if I knew anybody who likes chocolate and deserves a treat.

One person sprang to mind.  

This is my dad: Grumpy Old Man at large and very big chocoholic.  There are a few reasons why he deserves a treat:.

1. He puts up with the annual festive game of Dad Buckaroo with good grace.  

To play Dad Buckaroo, you will need:

* A dad who's having a snooze in a chair
* Lots of miscellaneous stuff

Method: Take it in turns to place objects on the sleeping dad.  Start easy (tissues, leaflets) and progress through heavier and larger objects.  Extra points for balancing them on his head.  If your dad wakes up and moves, scattering the objects everywhere, you lose.

2. He rejoices in the not very good:

"God, I love my car", says my dad as he trundles down the road in what we fondly refer to as 'Dad's Fun Bus'.  "It's so rubbish.  I feel really good and subversive driving this."  He even starts flashing his lights and honking his horn if he sees someone else driving a Fun Bus the same as his.  No penis extension sports cars for this dad, oh no.  And I can't believe I've just used the word 'penis' in the context of my dad.  Especially as I used the words 'vagina' and 'my dad' in a a sentence in yesterday's blog post too.  Sorry Dad.

The Vengabus is coming...

3. My son calls him Grumps:

This is definitely the short straw of all grandparent names.  It's not even Gramps.  He accepts it as his lot in life.  It suits him, actually.

Rory and Grumps: Bestest friends.

4. This phone call in July:

*ring ring*
Me: "Hello?"
Dad: "Oh, hi Lizzy, it's your dad."
(He never phones me. That is 'womans work')
Me: ""Hi Dad, how are you?"
Dad: "Oh, fine, fine.  How's your boy?"
Me: "Well, not asleep yet, the little sod.  Yeah he's fine."
Dad: "And how's work?"
Me: "Yeah, good, good.  What have you been up to, then?"
Dad: (long monologue about adventures in the Fun Bus and the caravan and the dog and being nagged by my mother and what heinous crimes he's witnessed the neighbours doing and so on).
*long pause*
Me: "So, did you want anything?"
Dad: "Oh yes.  I'm going into hospital tomorrow."
Me: "Oh right, why?"
Dad: "Having an operation."
Me: Oh. What are you having done?"
Dad: "Having a kidney out."
Me: "Having a...er, why?"
Dad: "Got cancer."
Me: "......."

For all his studied casualness when announcing this news, I know he must have been terrified.  Both of his parents died of cancer when I was 12 or so.  It was horrible and they were both so unwell for so long.  They were also both relatively young, and I know that The Cancer Gene must have weighed heavily on his mind ever since.

So far so good, though.  He came through surgery fine and as far as anyone can tell, they got it all out and he's doing well.  Brave Grumps.

He still deserves a big box of chocolates though.  As do my mum and their lodger, Annie, who both had to put up with him ringing his little bell and making ever more pathetic requests to have his pillows plumped and things when he was in recovery.  Thank you Thorntons.


  1. Bless your Dad. Hope he enjoyed his chocs!

  2. Aww I hope he enjoys his chocolates!! He deserves them :D

  3. Love it!! This is brilliant - I just found your blog through your comment on Hurrah For Gin and what you said there really resonated with me because I am in it for the fun and joy of writing and being read too - although I think you've got it more right than I have with your overall look and feel (having said that I've only read this one post so far but it has sold me completely and I'll definitely be doing some archive diving! Hmm, that sounded a bit dodgy!) My dad has also been diagnosed with cancer - prostate for him - and he's just about to start radiotherapy at the Royal Marsden. He's also seeming particularly calm about it but I know from my Mum that he is just as anxious about it as anyone would be. Bless our dads.

  4. I am ABSOLUTELY starting my kids on playing Dad Buckaroo on thier father.

    1. You must! And take photos to show me. It's a favourite tradition of ours.

  5. I hope your dad wins the chocs he definitely deserves them. I'm thinking of starting to play 'Dad Buckaroo' on my husband as he is ALWAYS falling asleep in the chair ;-)

    1. We need to make Dad Buckaroo a thing. Might hashtag it on twitter over Christmas.

  6. Must have been a scary time for all of you but i'm glad your dad is ok and i hope he continues to do well.
    p.s love a good game of human Bukaroo :)

  7. Awww he sounds lovely and I LOVE the Dad Buckaroo game - can't wait to try it out on the next person to fall asleep in proximity to me ! lol