Saying thank you
In the beginning very little gratitude
Who gets to choose their parents after all?
But gradually you realise what you’ve been given
And in time you understand the debt you owe
For bathing me in music; Bach, Stravinsky and Coltrane
and placing me in chamber groups with Mozart, Gounod and Damase
For giving me that tiny clarinet and showing how it sings
and picking me for your orchestral team of two
For introducing me to our well tempered Broadwood
and giving me a lifelong friend
For all the concerts, galleries and books
and helping me to look at things and judge them
For all those pesky questions and digging for the truth
and never being satisfied with unconvincing answers
For your constant interest in others
and respect for what they do
For having many passions, solitary and social
and pursuing them with truly scientific joy
For scepticism, horror films and ginger
and Berkeley, Barnes and Bayswater – and Wetherby of course
For looking to the granite island for your match
and getting that most vital thing so right
For writing your clear story and letting me write mine
For all of this and so much else
It seems like a good moment
To say thank you.
April 2012 on the occasion of John Playfair’s 81st birthday
Thanks for sharing this and your moving tribute to your father in the obituary. He was clearly a very talented man and much loved.
Thanks Elly, he was indeed.