WE have recently returned from England where we attended the wedding of one of my grandsons.
We gave ourselves a few extra days in which we met up with some old muckers from my jack-the-lad days and I took the princess on a tour of the beautiful countryside of West Berkshire.
In addition I wanted to show her Goring-on-Thames, a place that brought back happy memories and, I was pleased to note, was still as breathtakingly picturesque as I remembered.
There are locations in this world that inspire and others that have the ability to relax the mind and spirit and give us a sense of perspective.
The English countryside does all of these things for me.
My Dad was a sheet metal worker and for most of his working life was employed in a factory that was originally set up to make tins for Huntley & Palmers biscuits.
They were hard working conditions for scant reward, and I remember him putting in many hours of overtime before Christmas and the summer holidays each year, so that we could enjoy quality time together.
He neither owned his own house, or a car, but I never heard him once complain. He was generous with his time and would help anybody who required it, never needing to be asked.
He was no Leonardo or Hepplewhite, but he would often retire to his garden shed and paint a rural scene or knock up something in wood.
His speciality was model gypsy caravans constructed from thousands of spent matchsticks.
I suppose that it is all part of the ageing process, that we examine our lives and acquire an appreciation of just what is important and what is in fact inconsequential dross that we have wasted so much precious time on over the years.
This includes materialistic aspirations and silly hero worship.
Driving around the lanes of my native Berkshire last week, I was reminded too late, that in fact my dad was my one true hero and I was never able to tell him so.