Productivity is the name of the game - In the name of Thiago - Day 143

Well that’s a sentence I never imagined writing having spent the whole day with my father. But I shit you not, it really is the truth. It started fairly inauspiciously with his realisation that he had failed to leave our house with his mobile, which was the only means of contact that Pickfords had for him. Thankfully, that was the only low point.

We stood around for two hours – we would have sat around had there been any furniture –
waiting for Pickfords to arrive. That were booked to arrive anywhere from 9.30-10.30 so of course no-one showed up until 11.30. When they did eventually rock up, there was no hint of an apology for their tardiness, which I only knew about after hassling their London hq.

It made me think that their line of work is actually quite a good one to be in. You’ve already paid by the time the fellas turn up to drop off your belongings so whether they do it in a timely fashion probably doesn’t really matter shit to them. And as for whether the contents of the boxes are damaged or not, again not really their problem I guess once you’ve signed to say that the boxes are in your possession. We didn’t dare to go through them all, that can wait for another day.

One of the items to emerge from the lorry today brought back some memories, and here is the old man stood next to it proudly on his kitchen wall. From the early 70s through to the mid 90s, when it was wound up on its 50th anniversary, Dad worked at, and then latterly following my Grandad’s retirement, ran Smith and Gibbs boatyard in Latimer Road, Eastbourne.

It would be quite easy to write a whole blog about the Smith and Gibbs years, for they were utterly extraordinary. It was sad that the business went to the wall in the mid 90s but the more remarkable thing is that is lasted that long. This was a different time to run a business, a far cry from my own experience of running a film company from 2006-14. This was way better.

Questionable business arrangements, three-hour pub lunches and a lot of work done cash in hand is what I can recall. But there was nothing dishonest about the way Dad did things. Far from it. Dad always had the very highest levels of integrity, it was just a reflection of the times he lived in. The bar tab at the Beach Tavern was something else.  Incredible times!

Now of course one thing you’ll definitely need when navigating your way around the back streets of Stoke-on-Trent is a tram timetable for the suburbs of southwest Melbourne. There was a huge ton of shit that Dad will almost certainly never need and yet he decided to pack it up and send it back to England anyway.

I really hope he does build this shed he’s on about in his garden because he now has enough tools to last him a fucking lifetime. I am actually wondering whether he packed them all to take to Australia in 2002 and that is in fact the first time that they’ve been opened since then. Well even if they are it was worth seeing him unpack the stuff for the smile it brought to his face.

This was without doubt the most entertaining discovery from unloading all his shit today. For a man who has probably never cleaned anywhere in his life, he now has his and hers vacuum cleaners. They’re even red and blue for fuck’s sake! In fairness to the big man only one of these came in the Pickfords delivery today, but I did find this hilarious.

All in all though, I have to say it’s been a great day. Me and the big man have got on really well and we even managed to purchase two beds, one of which will be delivered tomorrow. It’s been an all guns blazing kind of day.

Thank you for reading everyone and as I always say, if you can spare anything towards my fundraising effort, then please do. We’re £100 short of the £7000 mark so it would be great to help get up to that milestone. You’ll be doing a wonderful thing for me and the two hospitals, which did so much to try to save my boy if you can help me.


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