Father’s Day – 2021

A Father’s Day Pleasure… Children’s Cards

If we cannot share our annual Father’s Days in person, the next best thing is to share in the love of our children… both for a father and a grandfather… through the magic of the ‘instant device’, ‘instant photo’, and ‘instant sharing’.

In my family, the enforced separation of this Father’s Day has brought a surprise pleasure: the creative art and inventiveness of a daughter for her father and a granddaughter for her Old Codger… the boys were busy being boys—a fact I cannot in any way fault!

As I imagine to be the case in many homes where ‘distance has prevented’, these simple pleasures have struck deep to the heart of what it is to be blessed by family love. Without further comment—other than the deep joy they brought to both father and grandfather—Phoebe’s perfect painting for me (above), and Millie’s creative card for her dad, Nick, say it all:

A Father’s Day Conundrum… Where Do Socks Go?

If there is a heaven, then surely it must be over-populated with socks—and to be more specific, notably mine—its gates guarded by St Feeter of the Sock, its admitted few hunched and mending over mushroom-shaped sock darners.

Inexplicably, I have experienced a recent surfeit of sock departures. Today, Father’s Day, I distinctly recall inserting [and I do take great care to check, now] two—yes, two—matchedpattern-distinctbrightly coloured pairs of past Father’s Day acquisitions into the maw of my Bosch front-loader. Later—after the [sadly] unchecked transfer of a damp tangle to the dryer—only one sweetly-smelling, warm and toasty, but mismatchedpair emerged.

Channelling my schoolboy French with a sotto voce… ‘quelle domage’ [or is that a linguistically-mixed metaphor] I went on the hunt!

I can assure the reader that it is no easy task for an undeniably portly gentleman in the wrong half of his seventies to stand on a chair and insert the better half of his torso into the belly of the beast. Not to be daunted, I thoroughly scoured the shiny barrel of the dryer—nothing! Then, the chair removed and bending for a repeat torso insertion into the washer beneath—again, nada!

Again, I channelled my schoolboy French. Muttering something like … ‘Merde, il est disparu‘… I stomped off to embrace the fashionista brigade and wear mismatched socks. However, I secretly suspect ‘the fashion’ is not a genuine fashion at all, but a necessity fuelled by other similar disappearances in other washer/dryer systems, the world over.

Where do they go?

I had ‘spun the barrels’. I had fished [as best I was able] into the cracks and crevasses between barrels and machine walls. I had checked [and re-checked] the laundry basket to ensure that—despite my remembered care—I’d not mistakenly left two unmatched socks in a darkened wicker corner. I thought to accuse Rosie or Yogi of subterfuge, but what would be their gain to torture me so? Realising that I was being unfair to even consider them culpable, I left them undisturbed and sleeping on the couch.

I visited my sock drawer where I now keep all my unmatched socks apart in a separate section, in the vain hope partners might one day surface.

I counted four solitary, somewhat sad divorcees staring back at me from their segregated spot.  Four! Four unpaired pairs—though strictly speaking, now not pairs at all.

While life has many mysteries, this one ranks highly on the list.  Perhaps Inspector Barnaby could turn his hand to locating socks when no more pitchfork-murdered corpses remain in Midsomer for him to investigate.

And, as if to rub salt into my wounds—one additional anguish! Today—of all days—is Father’s Day!

Father’s Day!… the very day where, once a year, an army of replacement socks might have been being unwrapped by ageing and trembling fingers amid murmured thank-you’s. The very day when the unmatched army might be fairly ditched in the sure knowledge that a drawer-full of newly-minted socks replete with bananas, sailing boats, strawberries, and Geelong Cats emblems would be lined up as ready replacements.

But no! We are in lockdown. For the second year in a row, Father’s Day has been cancelled. Across the state, across the land, other fathers—carefully avoiding thoughts of the diminishing stretch of future possible Father’s Days ahead—husband their few remaining mismatched pairs and look to Christmas! For the second year in a row, I am ‘home alone’ [like an aged Macaulay Culkin] here in incomparable Lorne, while my ardent sock-givers are locked away in leafy Newtown.

John Agar