Wednesday, 9 May 2007


My Father's Hands.

The restaurant is busy and I have a table for one. Polite conversations humming and the sound of cutlery on china is my musical backdrop.

Against the flat, white of my tablecloth, I inspect the backs of my hands. After ten weeks of walking, they are the colour of sun-dried honey. The contrast between them and the pale green-gold of the Chablis is perfect. Their texture, a fine vellum; tiny little ridges with small scratches catching the light where they cut across the fabric of my skin. Laid beneath this thin gauze are the fan shaped sinews that run down to my fingers, and climbing wildly over them, the blue knotted ropes of my veins.

I am transported, back to being a small boy, examining my father's hands in my own.

Perhaps, now, after a thousand miles of a walk I have dedicated to the memory of my Dad, now is the time to think back to the man who gave me these, my own hands.


  1. Dear Alan..

    I have just read this entry and you have really hit it!!

    I had never thought of it before but I to remember our Dads hands.You,ve described them perfectly.

    I now have a tear in my glass eye!!

    Good on you our kid

    Love Dave

    I also remember our dads hands when he was given us both a well deserved 'whack' after catching us scrapping again...They were heavy !!

  2. Alan I never thought that you could be so sentimental,it really is good to see.Carry on the most excellent work,Jon

  3. Maybe its your father's hands that taught you about how to be violent.

    "I should have thumped the upper class oaf."

    What a foul attitude you have.

  4. Ah - Another 'Anonymous' comment with a disparaging remark. I write as I see it, how I feel at the time and in the full glare of who I am, weaknesses and all. The fact that I did not 'thump the upper class oaf' surely says it all about me - I held my temper, whereas you feel free to vent your splenetic hissy fit anonymously. To malign the reputation of my father thouugh is unforgivebale and I do not accpet it as reasonable behaviour and surely you should now examine your own puny little conscience.

    If you bother to tell us all who you are all well and good, but I shall leave your post on here even though I could delete it, as it shows the world that there are still small minded bigots out there who prefer to spoil rather than build.

  5. Alan

    Dont rise to the wanker. Enjoy the TGOC. Its just normal weather for cheese and wine avec midge.


  6. Hi Alan
    Thank you so much for posting your Dads hands. My Father was a hard man throughout my formative years. At 27 I made the first steps of regonciliation and he reciprocated, hard work for us both. 5 years later he was dead. Those 5 years I would not swap or change. We had become very close and were planning to garden together the year that he died, he was a very fine gardener. When I look at my hands now as I pull weeds or plant seeds, I am as close to him as I can be.
    Kind regards.

  7. Hi Alan

    Love you!!

    Love Rachael, Kate and Paul

    Hope you start your walk within a walk on schedule x

  8. Well said Uncle Alan. We are lucky to have had in our lives someone like Grandad. I can only hope the naysayers meet someone with Grandad's spirit, and have their small little world cracked open.

  9. Priceless.
    With your permission I'll put this up on my wall at work.
    It's too easy to take things, or people, for granted.

    As for the rest of your blog, i'm loving every entry.


  10. Hi Mike

    I am glad you are enjoying the blog - it does not pretend to be any more than it is - the present feelings on the walk itself.

    Feel free to take what you want from it - it's nice that you have asked.

    All the best


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