In 1990 my Dad took my two siblings and I to a fete being held at the school we attended. It was a Saturday and the weather, I remember was warm and pleasant so it must have been their Summer one. It wasn’t a scorcher of a day, but I remember that any breeze which occurred was well needed and welcomed by everyone due to the humidity. I don’t actually remember a lot about the day itself; I only remember how I felt. I know I was very happy and giddy. I spent a whole day with my Dad and we did nothing but fun things. I do recall attempting to Hook-A-Duck with Dad helping to steady my hand, and also my brother doing some activity where he had to climb a wall. But all that and more is overshadowed by our last stall stop and the walk home.
Dad bought us all an ice cream (if you’re interested, my choice was a mint Feast) for the walk home and as we were exiting the gates Dad spotted a stall where you had to throw beanbags and knock some things off a shelf to win a prize. Dad hadn’t actually partaken in any activities that day, so it seemed fitting that he should try his hand at the last one before we left. Again, all I can remember is feeling happy and thinking that Dad must have fired the beanbag out of some type of gun because the way it sped towards the items and blasted them to the floor. My five year old eyes couldn’t believe how quickly it happened. The throw was rewarded as my Dad was given the ultimate prize (well, I thought so!)…he was given a coconut.
As we began to walk home, my legs got tired and so Dad placed me on his shoulders. Whenever he used to pick me up I felt like I was being raised to the top of a gigantic plinth. Sitting on his shoulders, I felt like I could touch the streetlights and see the birds in the sky more close-up. Everything was tiny when I was up there, and Dad used to muck around by pretending to trip up whilst moving me about. Dad let me hold the coconut too and I don’t think I’d ever actually held one before that day. I remember not being able to understand how this hard brown thing, translated into the white flakes that Mum used to put on top of her Victoria Sponges!. Not only that, but when I shook it, I could hear swooshing of liquid inside. Dad said that people could drink the coconut milk and that we could try some, just as soon as he bashed it with a hammer when we got home. My Dad has a wonderful way with words!
I couldn’t wait to get home! For me it was another perfect day. I’d been to a Fete, Dad had won a coconut, I got to hold the coconut and also, I got to fly on Dad’s shoulders again. When we got home, Dad did indeed do what he promised and on the kitchen table lay cracked shards of the shell for us to try. I do remember that I didn’t like it! This did not taste like Mum’s cakes!
Later that evening, Dad played this song, he had the album on a tape. Whenever, I hear this song I am instantly returned to that Summer Day I spent with Dad….