This has been a difficult week as my beloved father passed away last Monday after a final brief illness. He'd beaten cancer several times before but this last time, just three weeks after his 70th birthday was one time too many.
My parents had been married for nearly 40 years and had the perfect marriage, my mother told me this week that she has no regrets of the time they had together. They very rarely had a cross word between them and often told each other that they loved each other.
It was my father who was largely responsible for me becoming a quantity surveyor (he himself was one); he would on occasion in school holidays have me hold the other end of a measuring tape or arithmetically check columns of figures. It was my father's interest in photography that started my own interest, and it gave us both a lot of enjoyment.
When I was younger we were prone to arguments, we were very alike - both of us always wanting the last word in any dispute. Once I left home though he became more than a father but also a friend. We would talk several times a week on the phone and set the world to rights!
My father was a quiet man and a private man, but the letters of condolence that my mother has received reveal that he was universally like and respected. A gentle man and a gentleman.