Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yes We Can

Not much time tonight between packing, and cleaning, and baking, and watching X Factor (my new third favourite programme; I'll admit it). But I quickly want to tell you about Lunchbox Day, which is happening across the country tomorrow.

I've just realised that although I've been blogging a bit about child poverty, I haven't been telling about Campbell Live's recent focus on hungry kids. It follows that if one in five children in NZ are living in poverty, these kids are going to be hungry. The government seems to think that's the look-out of the kids' parents only (as do an alarming number of other people; I guess they didn't elect themselves), so while they preach about irresponsibility and egalitarianism and blah blah blah, children are sitting at school unable to concentrate because they've had a fizzy drink and some chips for breakfast and nothing for lunch.

Not so Kidscan. For 1.8 million dollars, Kidscan can provide lunch to every kid at decile 1-4 schools in the country. Compared with what the country spends on other things, this is pocket change (but we have a culture of child abuse; we don't even have a Minister of Children), and as Vincent pointed out this evening, if every working adult gave a dollar, we'd have it. Tomorrow is about reaching that goal, so businesses and schools and individuals all over the country are doing different things to help get there. If you didn't know about it, it's not too late to get involved! You can do something as simple as taking a collection at your workplace, or getting everyone to text LUNCH to 8595 (an automatic $3 donation, with no deductions by network providers). And if you're in the city, you can drop into my shop, where we'll be selling baking (I'm making lolly cake; if no-one else buys any I can rely on Vincent), and giving a portion of sales of our special Auckland kiwi to Kidscan. Or you can go to BCC where Vincent has organised lunch; fish & chips and a beer for $25, half of which (ie all profits) will go to Kidscan. It's a lot of money to make in one day, but it's amazing what can be done when everyone gets together...

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Obsolete

I've felt really sad tonight. Today the Spring Creek miners found out their mine is to be abandoned; the same day twelve of them left their homes to take their plan to save the mine to parliament. Two hundred and thirty jobs will be lost, plus sixty-three more at the Huntly East mine in Waikato, also owned by Solid Energy. According to the company's chairman, the mines have been operating at a loss for years, and it simply isn't feasible to keep them open.

The thing is, I haven't thought coal was a good source of energy since I was at primary school and we studied fossil fuels. I'm not really into mining as a practice, either. (I don't think I need to say I'm not down with unemployment?) Seeing the faces of the men when they found out that their trip was to be in vain broke my heart a bit, and I realised it was mainly because this is it. I wondered if I felt more sympathetic to them because mining is almost romantic in its evocation of working class ideals; dirty, physical, dangerous, and completely dependent on people who get to sit safely up the top and lick the cream. I probably did feel that way; aside from the fact that I love workers, I have this weird affinity for workers who are part of their own separate communities (like wharfies, and road-workers), and so I tried to think of them as being just like all of the other people who have lost jobs because the way we do things has changed (not necessarily for the better, or the worse). I thought about bank tellers, replaced by atms, and post shops, closed because we pay online and send more emails than letters.

I prefer to pay some of my bills to a person, and to be able to ask questions to someone standing in front of me, but I also embrace most technology. I think job losses due to the restructuring of society according to the technology we have access to is inevitable and, in most cases, necessary. But the thought of a lady in her fifties who worked at the old post office; who knew the cost of sending a parcel just by looking at it, the names of her regulars, and when it was four o'clock just by how her ankles felt - sitting at home, or even working somewhere else, where all of that specific experience is unnecessary, makes me want to cry. I felt that way when one of the Spring Creek miners was interviewed, and said he would have to leave his family in NZ to go overseas in order to find mining work.

It must have happened forever; I just hadn't thought about it so much - but there are so many people finding their jobs obsolete. Some of them might be able to retrain (although I don't see how, when tertiary education is becoming less and less accessible) or find new jobs (although even if some skills are transferable, there must nearly always be a pay-cut when starting something new). But I imagine most just have to do whatever they can; trying to make it to retirement, or simply trying to get enough money so that something similar won't happen to their kids. Maybe everything turns out fine for some. But it must be so horrible; so frightening, and soul-destroying, to feel like the thing you're good at and the thing you do to pay for living, isn't needed, or useful, anymore.

I think that's what's making me feel really sad. I'd like to think of solutions, and benefits to the changes. But I can't help feeling like It Was Always Thus etc, and that Life Is Suffering, and that Workers Are Always Pawns. And it's funny, but when I think this way, it makes me want to be a worker more than ever, because even if we are at the mercy of capitalist and technology, we always have something to fight for.

I won't leave you like that. Vincent said he had something to cheer me up, and while I didn't believe him at first, he was right. Enjoy!


PS Vincent also discovered that even thought stupid NZ tv doesn't show it anymore, we can watch The Daily Show here. Haha! Hip hip for more Romney jazz!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekending

1. In case you do other things on a Sunday morning, like go out for breakfast, or do your lawns, or just anything that means you're not on the couch watching tv, you might not know about my favourite  programme. It's called Neighbourhood, and it's nothing short of awesome. Every week we visit a neighbourhood, hosted by someone famous (or semi-famous) who has lived there (often someone who grew up there), and we meet some people who live there now, and find out a bit about what makes that area special; we get to know everyone's backgrounds, and their experience in NZ, and how they have found/made a home in their neighbourhood. The blurb on the website claims it "explores and celebrates New Zealand's cultural diversity", and it doesn't disappoint, especially for someone like me, who loves the rich ethnic smorgasbord we have in NZ. So far my favourite has been Te Aro, hosted by Luke Buda, but I've just discovered that I've missed about eighteen episodes, so that could change. I know why this kind of show is aired on a Sunday morning; it's considered community programming, which it is. But I wish the importance of community programming was understood; I wish it was easier for people to watch this. In the five episodes I've watched, I've come to value suburbs I knew nothing about, and learnt so much about cultures and individuals I might never have known. There's so much misinfomation and just a general lack of understanding between people that isolates and can really damage, bearing prejudice and impatience, among other things. This show seeks to break down barriers by sharing, and prove how willing people are to share, and to be understood. I think a lot of people struggle with the fact that New Zealand is largely an immigrant country; watching this might make them realise how great that is. Catch up on episodes here.

2. We all keep raving on about how much we're looking forward to warmer weather, but you have to understand how cold it still is in Auckland. It's one of the good things about it, but it's cold enough to still wear my fur coat, and it's almost October. So since I can't wear them yet, I keep looking at summer outfits online, and next year's spring/summer collections that look amazing, and dreaming of the day I too will have cause (other than sympathy for Vincent) to de-hair my legs, and to wear sunblock. My favourite look I've seen this weekend from Jesse Kamm via Miss Moss.



3. Today we had a joint birthday party for my dog Oscar, and his brother Oli. They turned ten a couple of weeks ago, and celebrated in style; both wearing ties, and looking equal parts festive, fancy, and ridiculous. It was an excellent precursor to what we did afterward; see this man live.

He was brilliant. He sang. He cracked jokes. He gave me nightmares forever by doing numerous hip thrusts. He even did an (awesome!) impression of The Godfather. He was hammy as hell, and then five minutes later had the room still and silent while he nailed Love Me Tender. My aunty and I cheered the entire time we weren't in fits of laughter... I didn't take any undies to throw, but I did give him a standing ovation, and while age hasn't robbed him of anything, now that I'm an old married woman, maybe it was for the best.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Mad, The Bad, And The Beautiful

I've been a bit grumpy the last two days. It's made me a little less apt to see the funny side of things, and so ready to get fired up about things that make me angry; good, in a way, as it's spurred to me to immediate action when I might have stalled. I've just written a preliminary email to a local publication to check that when they wrote that J Williams had been in "a spot of media trouble last year", they were referring to his exposure as a woman-beater - just in case there was something that could be reasonably described as "a spot of media trouble"- before I hit the fucking roof. To read this in the same week that I read about fellow woman-beater Chris Brown's new tattoo of the face of a beaten woman is just about more than I can take. How are these men still successful? How can people really not care that they are pieces of shit?

I'm determined not to go to bed worked up and have another bad sleep (today I'd say the world had a formidable opponent; tomorrow it could have a new worst enemy), so I'm trying to focus on good things. One of these things is this ad that I saw for the first time yesterday. I hope you like it as much as I do; if you do, you can donate here, or join the IHC Smile Club here. We're so, so lucky to have an organisation like IHC in NZ. I have a cousin I love very much with an intellectual disability who lives in Samoa, and her life would be so enriched by what IHC enables people to do. She's part of the reason Vincent and I are Smile Club members, and why I really hope that you'll think about it; you can pay as little as $15 a month, and know that you're helping to make climbing those mountains a little bit easier.


PS I know I've been asking you to open your wallets a lot recently; I'm sorry! I wouldn't do it if I didn't think it was so, so important, but I'll try to lay off for a while.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Being The Change

Today is 172 years since Auckland was "founded", and Saturday 29th is the start of our heritage festival. I've only done a quick flick through the booklet, yet already have filled up our weekends (have a look at the programme here); highlights include a Buster Keaton film accompanied by the legendary Wurlitzer at the Hollywood Cinema in my old neighbourhood of Avondale, a presentation of archival footage of the design, development and construction of buildings in Auckland like my beloved Civic (I say "my" literally; it belongs to all of the people of Auckland), and an exhibition at the Maritime Museum called 'The Immigrants' which I hope will include information about the Matua, on which my mother came to Auckland in the 1950s. The festival is an awesome chance to learn more about our beautiful city, and to get behind the closed doors of some gorgeous buildings, and most of it is free! (Well, paid for with our rates and local fines; we just got a $40 fine for parking in the city, so some of this is on us, and you couldn't be more welcome. Although we'd rather not have the fine.)

As excited as I am about these events though, my complaint about the festival is a shortage of social history in the programme. Recently my Dad told me to look up a woman named Betty Wark, who spent most of her life taking care of children; street-kids, foster-kids, and any other kids who needed help. I googled her, and only came up with her obituary, and a mention in Father Terry Dibble's. These two people did amazing things for people who are forgotten by most, and I'd love to attend an event where I could learn more about them, and visit the places where they worked, and see their legacies. So it's occurred to me that if that's what I want in the festival, then it's up to me to provide it. Obviously it's too late to become an official part of this year's programme, but I'm still going to research these people and then I can tell you about them, (and then maybe next year I could have my own walk!). I love old buildings, but I value people most, and I think people who effect positive change are infinitely more worth remembering than people who just came to a country (and wreaked havoc; Governor Grey, I'm looking at you and your stupid grave that gets its own stupid walk). Grey et al are part of our city's history but we don't have to remember them; we can choose whom to honour with memory. I'd like to honour Betty, and Father Terry, and other people who tried to make Auckland a wonderful place to live for everyone. I wasn't expecting to end up here, but here we are. Welcome to my social heritage festival, friends! (Slogan to come.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Same Shit/Tragedy, Different Day/Century

Yesterday there were two factory fires in Pakistan. The first was at a shoe factory in Lahore, which was illegally situated in a residential area. Twenty-five people were killed (a number expected to rise), most of them young men. The second fire was in Karachi, at a textile factory. Most windows in the factory were barred, and all but one of the exits was locked. The estimated death toll is 289, and also expected to rise.

It's 101 years since the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York, when 146 women were killed. 101 years, and what have we learnt? Nothing, it seems. The lives of workers are still held so cheaply; it's just luck, or lack of it, that some of us are born in countries that have labour laws to protect us, and that some are born in countries which are exploited by others (frequently the countries that protect their own).

I say, without hesitation, that we are all accountable for the deaths of these people in Pakistan. We who live our lives without fighting, and more specifically, we who support the countries and companies who exploit these people. These people. Sometimes I feel as if the distance, or the safety of our bubble, mean we don't relate to victims such as these; they are unfamiliar, and their realities are so far removed from ours that we separate our lives from theirs, forgetting that ours are as fragile, and theirs are as valuable. The families of these men stood on the street, waiting to see of their husband, or son, or friend, or just familiar face, would walk out of that factory. 

Tonight's news devoted about three times as long to the Hillsborough Football Disaster; a tragedy that happened 1989. These fires happened yesterday. To workers, doing the jobs they do every day, in conditions directly related to what and who we are prepared to pay for the clothes and shoes we wear. We - you and me - here, in New Zealand. As long as we accept the convenience of buying things made  in countries who can't or won't protect their workers, we are complicit in these deaths. As long as it is profitable for companies to exploit vulnerable workers, they will; we have a responsibility to make it unprofitable. We have to make it clear that we will not support products that cause suffering; by boycotting, writing emails, and pressuring everyone we can to make changes. These things work; The Warehouse stopped stocking Cottonsoft toilet paper after Greenpeace revealed it was linked to deforestation in Indonesia, and we said that mattered. Ribena has never recovered since it was exposed for lying about the vitamin C levels in its juice, and we stopped buying it. We have to show that we care about these things - these people, and that we care enough to change our habits in a way that affects these producers.

Earlier this year I read, and wrote, about working conditions in Bangladesh factories. These tragedies aren't out of the ordinary, and that is completely unacceptable. I know this sounds angry; it is angry. I'm so angry at this callous treatment of precious people (that hasn't even ended with their deaths, such is the state of our nation's media), and I'm angry at everyone, most of all myself. The first time I ever heard the adage "Of whom much is given, much is expected" I couldn't stop thinking about it (partly wrestling with the grammar and whether or not it was correct), and that feeling of responsibility is something I think I was born with. Marx wrote "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need", and although he applied it to the distribution of wealth, I believe in  a true socialist sense, it applies to everything.

Here you can see some photos taken in Pakistan, on the NY Times website (whence I took my statistics; the numbers vary across different sources). Please look at them; really look at the faces of the people in them.

We can make a change, you guys. We have to make a change.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Things


1. Today, in 1977, Steve Biko died in police custody in apartheid South Africa. He was thirty, which is how old I will be next year. At the time of his death, my eldest sister was four.

Four years before his murder, Biko had been banned (in case you've forgotten what that entailed, as I had, it included being forbidden from speaking to more than one person at a time, and for anyone to quote you), having been identified as a threat to the government with his advocation of black consciousness. He continued to fight apartheid, and was instrumental in the organisation of the protests leading to the Soweto uprising. It was after the uprising that Biko became a prime target for the police, who beat him into a coma before he died. No-one was ever prosecuted for his death.

Biko understood that, as he said, "The greatest weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed". Following this, his fight was one to free the minds of the oppressed; empowering the people to own their culture and their history. Today, thirty-five years after he died, his approach is still inspiring and progressive. It sounds so cliched, but in spite of what he lived in, I believe he had more freedom than the people who tried - and failed - to keep him down.

" A people without a positive history is like a car without an engine."


2. I've been thinking a lot, today, about Auckland City, and the things I love about it. I'll write more about it soon, but I thought about how it's a bit like an Antipodean New York (about which my knowledge is expanding exponentially, thanks to the fifteen hour doco Vincent and I are working our way through), in that it's NZ's centre of business, resented by rural areas, and a beacon to immigrants and rural poor. I couldn't help thinking, though: "Give me your poor..." and I will house them with two other families in a damp garage, and put education out of their reach, and then blame them for needing assistance and being sick. But I guess that's all of NZ, not just my beloved Auckland.

3. I have never heard of Cushnie et Ochs before, and anyway, considering he was also at the Alexander Wang and Band Of Outsiders shows, I wouldn't have thought I'd be going a bit gaga something that wasn't theirs from The Sartorialist's New York photos. But I can't stop drooling over this dress. I love the detail on the neckline, and how strong the dress is; it's tough, and so beautiful.



4. The Ridges. I've been waiting for this since it was first leaked that it might happen, and have never bothered pretending otherwise; why wait till I'm seventy to wear my pajamas to the video shop? (I've actually done that several times, and it's completely appropriate attire for a United Video, particularly on a Tuesday night, although I did seem to have an unfortunate trick of walking into other people's farts and then feeling gross about wearing the residue back to bed.) Anyway, while it had the usual annoying lack of action of most reality shows, I enjoyed it, and it made me realise I am a cow and a bad feminist. The relationship between mother and daughter is enviably and genuinely close, and the bad grammar and questionable outfits are endearing (I can hear how arseholian that sounds but I mean it in a nice way, or in a way that reflects poorly on me, as I deserve it to) on both personal and national levels (it's a nice coincidence that Vincent and I are currently re-watching Flight Of The Conchords). Next person who says mean things about Sally's "craft" column in whichever magazine it is has me to contend with. If you're a good parent, you can make as bad craft as you like.


5. It's not particularly original sounding (Vincent and I named about five songs/artists in as many minutes who sounded like this first), but I am still enjoying this song a lot. It sounds like late nights, and sunny afternoons, being alone, and being with Vincent, and being with a bunch of people, black coffee, and water, jeans, and dresses. And grass. (Not the smoking type; the kind that's always greener etc.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Call To Action

Today I'm keeping quiet and letting Lachlan Forsyth, from Campbell Live, do the talking. It's old news that John Campbell is one of my national heroes; champion of poor/brown/forgotten people, thorn in the side of irresponsible/stupid politicians, and all-round awesome guy. I like to think that the people he works with are similar to him (in the same way that I like to think that all of the All Blacks are best friends), and reading this made me feel extra happy, especially because when John is away, Lachlan hosts the show.

Child poverty is the biggest issue in New Zealand at the moment; not asset sales, or free trade with idiots, or anything else the usual media outlets persist in focussing on. And it's a problem that belongs to all of us; the responsibility is ours.

Please read this, and think about what we're going to do. Every minute that passes is a minute that a kid here, in NZ, is hungry, and cold, and maybe sick, and every day they live this way determines what their life will be when they're not a kid anymore.

I've linked to it before, but in case you missed it, you can become a Kidscan supporter here for $15 a month. It's so easy, and if everyone starts with something like this, we'll be on our way.

We're better than this, but that's not really the point. Kids deserve better than this, and we have to give it to them.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

What's Golden

These are some photos of the buildings and landscapes I saw on our last trip to the south. We spent two days driving through central Otago, eating pies, perusing bookshops, and trying to find where all the people were (failing in Naseby but succeeding in Alexandra - the supermarket!). Unfortunately none of my pictures show what I found most startling about Otago, which was the amazing yellow-gold of the landscape; light, leaves, grass - everything was perfectly matched as if by Wes Anderson's hand. I love how different each part of New Zealand is from the next; how even if there were no signs, you would know when you had crossed from Auckland to Waikato, or Canterbury to Otago. And I love the idiosyncrasies of every place. During our days there, Central Otago underwent a number of costume changes; we saw her bathed in sun, scattered with hail; we saw snow on not-too-distant mountains and felt it in the wind; we ran through rain in Ranfurly, and everywhere it became her.

The bracing wind, the frank friendliness of the people we met, and the schist we saw everywhere defined the area and its history, to me. Pete and Barb said only a few weeks ago, the yellow roads we drove up and down on had been covered in snow, and that in summer those same places are almost unbearably hot. Change is supposed to be as good as a holiday; change combined with a holiday is mystical and exotic. I can't wait to go back.












Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pauline Hanson

Can someone please explain to me the appeal of Game Of Thrones? Vincent and I watched the first episode (granted, often not the best episode by which to judge a series), and it seemed to us to be sexist (I know, this is common to 90% of what's on tv), extremely badly written, poorly lit (specifically, the lighting was like a bad porno), and hammy. We decided we'd rather just have sex ourselves, and then read some Harry Potter, or maybe Lord Of The Rings, finally. But I must be missing something, or why would every other person in the world be watching and loving it? Has 30 Rock really ruined all other television for me forever?

Now, even if you can explain that, I defy anyone to explain this incredibly badly and misleadingly titled article about the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, which is currently before parliament. This bill, if passed, would give employers the right to ask their employees to work through their breaks, even paid breaks, if "reasonable". I'm still trying to find the bits of my brain that came flying out of my ears when I first read it. As far as I know, this hasn't been in the news; no-one has thought it might relate to the recent protests at Burger King branches in the city which have been exploiting immigrant workers and paying them less than minimum wage. The same employers who would be deemed suitable to make decisions on behalf of their staff as to whether or not the lunch rush is more important than having an unpaid half hour break. This makes me both furious, and exasperated. Very few people can go into an interview and make demands; it's difficult to ask questions that relate to pay and working conditions. And the most vulnerable members of the workforce; those vying for unskilled work that will have them (because New Zealand is a racist colony that finds an Asian accent problematic but a European accent just fine), the people already being exploited - those are the same people who are going to be most affected. I'm already bracing myself for the onslaught of professionals and their war stories about working through lunch most days, plus starting at eight and finishing who-knows-when before they can get to Les Mills for a quick spin class and then grab something quick from Nosh and go home to their Ponsonby villas... But every worker has the right to a break, and if the people "we" elected to represent us disagree, we have to convince them otherwise.

Tonight Hone Harawira was on Campbell Live, ostensibly to explain the comments he made today. The word he used is one that no-one has the right to use; no-one. But dear lord, I'm glad he's in parliament.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Something In The Air

Everyone in the Southern Hemisphere is waxing lyrical about Spring, and pretending we think Summer is just around the corner. It's not necessarily that we hate Winter; in fact, I love Winter. I also love beer, but it is the very last thing I feel like drinking at the moment (actually that's not true at all; a wheat beer would be like mana but considering the strength of these antibiotics, I imagine I would be swiftly begging for sweet death). What I mean is that even if you love Winter, as I do; love coats (love coats, like thought you and your husband would count how many you have, and then got to twenty and thought it wasn't such a good game anymore), boots, hats and gloves, hot toddies and mulled wine, revel in storms (so much so that even when you don't actually know there is one going on outside your body instinctively begins to twitch); when your favourite afternoon is bunking down with a cup of tea and a book or movie, and when you have the kind of complexion that is better served by Winter's clouds than Summer's sun... it still becomes tiresome putting together an outfit and then having to add jumpers under and over it, and having to check stockings for holes and worn patches, and having yellow feet because you can only fit a thin pair of socks under your stockings with most of your boots.

Winter, it's not personal.

Here are some things that make the temporary break-up easier:

1. Outfits with only one jumper, and bare ankles.


From here.

2. A BABY!!! Whom I have already named Margot, but we'll see what her parents have to say about that. It's her shower next weekend, but in spite of my excitement, I'm finding her hard to shop for; I found an awesome onesie on Amnesty's online shop that says All Rights for All People, and a Motorhead onesie on Ebay, but I think they might be more for our potential baby than my friends'. She is due to arrive in just under a month, and then she will spend her first New Year's with me. (Well, with all of us, but I will be there, and this is my blog, after all.)

3. Dreaming. As much as I love Winter, it really seems to be about surviving, and living day-to-day. Warmer weather means planning, and imagining, and California dreaming...

4. Taking electricity savings to new heights. Last month our bill was $40. The eight-year-old in me had a party with her toys and watched some kissing on tv to celebrate. Possibly part of the reason it was so low was that we were extremely busy and ate takeaways more than usual, but I don't care. If we can do that in the middle of Winter, who knows what we can achieve when it gets warmer? Considering how much I sweat and have to wash my things when it's warm, probably not much more.

5. The prospect of dancing to this, outside, with no shoes, and very few clothes, on. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

L'Chaim


Last night, Vincent and I finally watched Fiddler On The Roof, and not surprisingly, I loved it. I was surprised, though, by how much it reminded me of my family; the bond between sisters, the oppression of growing up in a patriarchal culture, but more than anything, how hard it is for a father who loves his children and is trying to reconcile the culture and traditions he wishes them to have, with the world they have been born into which he can't deny is changing rapidly.


It's hard being a daughter to a father, and hard being a father to a daughter. I felt like my dad never heard me; for much of my life I also felt like he didn't know me. I realised later that I didn't know him, either, and that his tradition was one where an adult didn't listen to a child; their job was to provide, and protect, and eventually hand her on to someone else who would provide for and protect her. My father was not Tevye, but there is a lot of my father in Tevye, and Tevye in my father. I couldn't have appealed to my father the way Tevye's daughter's did; pride and a traditional sense of right and wrong, and what is appropriate would have prevented my father from being able to hear me. But I was wrong when I thought he didn't care about me. I know now that the ambitions he had for me weren't about his pride; I don't deny that he would have enjoyed being able to say I was employed in something he holds in high esteem, but I know that he wanted me to be able to look after myself, and to not want. I feel as if I straddle worlds, having been born in a country where my skin colour means I am frequently asked where I am from, but not being able (yet) to speak the language of that country. My father straddles the same worlds, but the one he lives in is the one he is less familiar with. I wish I had realised that sooner; I wish we both had. For most of my life, I felt as if my father and I were fundamentally different. It makes me happy to realise that, while we have differences, fundamentally different we are not.

It's a funny coincidence that tomorrow is Father's Day. I already knew the song below, and even when sung by Kirk it made me cry, it's so beautiful. Listening to it now, after having written about my dad, it makes me feel sad, but not in a forever kind of way. We find it so hard to understand each other, but we've both been trying to tell the other we love them. I've think I've finally deciphered his code; now I just need to translate mine so he knows too.