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if musicToday is my Dad’s birthday. I’m not going to get overly sentimental here, but my father is a very remarkable man who has not only been a solid supportive rock throughout my life, but who also has a softness I haven’t met in many men – and this combination is utterly beautiful. He also has a love of music which, when I’m in his company, fiercely infects me. So, for the man who has everything, what do I give him for a milestone birthday?

I got inspired at the weekend and spent most of Saturday evening and nearly all of Sunday creating an alternative present – a song list of seventy songs, one for every year of his life. For him I’ve included comments on why I chose each song and what they mean to me, but I’ll keep that personal. Here I just want to share the list, beginning with the first ten years from 1944 – 1953. I have had so much fun meeting or revisiting these old classics – enjoy! And if you have an alternative recommendation for any of these years, do share in the comments…
1944 Swinging on a star – Bing Crosby

1945 Accentuate the positive – Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers

1946 Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow – Vaughn Monroe

1947 La Vie en Rose – Edith Piaf

1948 Nature Boy – Nat King Cole

1949 Some Enchanted Evening – Perry Como

1950 Goodnight Irene – Gordon Jenkins and the Weavers

1951 Mockin’ Bird Hill – Patti Page

1952 Jambalaya on the Bayou – Hank Williams

1953 PS I love you – The Hilltoppers

Good Deeds Received

A kindly welcome from my colleagues at the factory, and lots of support while I tried to get up so speed packing biscuit boxes on a fast conveyor belt!

I have been offered a try out at the retreat centre I mentioned last week! I will go for a week in January and then, if they accept me, I will start the job in their kitchen for real in February. I’m very excited!

Several people have been very kind in affirming my decision to take a job at Gaia House, saying it feels right – but they’ll miss me…

Mum cooked a delicious meal for me on my first night back in her house, and let me use her car to go to and from work as she didn’t need it.

Got a lovely postcard from my niece, who is in America with her Dad at the moment.

Got a lovely text from the friend whose house I stayed in, thanking me for the care I’d taken of the house and the cat.

Had a really magical, inspiring conversation with the friend who reared the guinea fowl I’ve been helping to look after.

Good Deeds Done

Gave an English lesson to the husband of a friend of mine who wants to leave the factory and work as an electrician, which he is qualified to do in his own country – but he needs to improve his language to do that work here.

Created a song list for my Dad – hope it’s as much fun for him, as it was for me compiling it…

Got a life back from the factory from my friend and her husband during my first week of work. So nice to be able to share my first week of experiences with them.

Went pine cone collecting for my friend, before she returns, to replace those I’d used to start the fire while living at her place.

Went food shopping for my Mum, before returning to stay at her place again for a while.

Fed my friend’s guinea fowl while she was away.

Helped out in Mum’s cafe when the woman who usually helps her clean up at the end of the weekend wasn’t able to come.