Many people, after the memorial service in London on 2nd November 2012, asked for the texts.
I know that you all loved my father very much. But only a few of you knew him as I did, as a father. And if we are to remember him as he really was, it is very important that I share this with you. I’ve collected six little stories to show you what it was like to be his son:
Story no. 1, Being Born
On the 17th of April 1999 I came out of mummy’s tummy. My father was very happy and very proud. When he saw my little baby hands, he said to my mother: `Look! He’s got huge hands! He will play the cello!’ And he was right.
Story no. 2, British
A few hours later, you know what he did? He ran to the first office he could find and made sure I was a British citizen!
Story no. 3, Lunch
I think you all know that my father was an excellent cook. He loved to invent special meals. So we were very happy that he made lunch for us every day. But he was not always at ease with it. He was stressed because of his work and because of the timing. Lunch had to be ready at 2:15. So, when I came home from school, I always knew which mood he was in. He either shouted: `Hello!’ Or he shouted: `Bugger!’
Story no. 4, Cello Practice
I have to practice the cello everyday. My father loved to help me. He always played the piano part. And he loved the music he played. So quite often he got lost in it and forgot all about me and my mistakes.
Story no. 5, Learning English
I started English lessons in school when I was 10. I was excited and proud. My first test went very well. I got 34 marks out of 35. I went home happy and eager to tell my father. Can you imagine what he said? 'What a pity!'
Being his son was not always easy. It was lovely!
This is my last story:
Do you know Tom and Jerry? Sure you do! Daddy and I loved them, especially the two brown bulldogs, father and son. Whenever Daddy was very, very, very proud of me, he would put his arm around my shoulders, lowered his voice and said: 'That's my boy!'
When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.
(Christina Rossetti, 1830-1894)