I came home from a writing session in the Tinderbox cafe in the Angel, in time to make supper - mackerel pasta - and my boy came running to greet me. "Dad, Dad! You're back!" It's not always been so. There was a seemingly endless period when my presence little registered, beyond being the hairy one who changed his nappy and bought him his chocolate juice at the park cafe. But happy to say that phase is over, and I'm trebly in Spike's good books because I took him to Hamleys yesterday and bought him a Salty - a model of the buck-toothed engine, friend of Thomas. His choice.
Today two years ago, I lost my Dad. He slipped away from a sunlit room in a hospice in Liverpool, windows wide open. It was during that dreadful heatwave, the trains were in chaos, it took me five hours longer than it should have to get there. But I made it in time to say goodbye, hold his hand.
I'm a Dad, my brother's a Dad, some of my best friends are Dads.
But Dad's gone.