Memories are funny aren't they. Sometimes I struggle to remember what I did last week, but the memories of London Uncle are so super clear.
So always on this day I remember him. Let off a balloon with a message if I can. Visit his tree if I can, but mostly I just thank him for helping me be me.
He taught me how to:
- Explore London – with him and London Aunt, I learnt the pleasure of just wandering around a neighborhood looking through people's windows.
- Buy a weekly travel card – at 15, this for some reason left me paralysed with fear. The idea of trying to hear all the quantifying questions. He helped me every week until I one day just did it by myself.
- Cook edible potatoes – he was also amazing at all cooking, particularly thai green curry.
- Appreciate the delights of the home shopping channel – oddly soothing when watched with a beer.
- Obsessively watch BBC Breakfast news for the London travel updates – I became a true 90s London commuter thanks to him.
- Stay calm when you'd just accidentally dropped a toddler on her head
- Stay calm when you'd just watched a toddler throw herself down some glass stairs.
- Stay calm when the same toddler ate five Krispy Kremes in a row and then threw up.
- Smile so hard your face might fall off – he did this the day he married London Aunt. That was a very good day.
- Soak rice for longer than you think and rinse it well.
- Be brave.
And then he was gone.
And I miss him. Fourteen years on I miss him just as much as I missed him then.
And if he was here now, I'd like to think he'd be pretty happy about what I'm up to, and how whenever I'm brave, I always think of him. He made it so much easier to be and still does.