It was 2011 and I had driven up from Norfolk to Nottinghamshire to see my mum and dad. Not long after I arrived, my dad took me to one side. “TOM, CAN I HAVE A WORD?” he said. When my dad says, “TOM, CAN I HAVE A WORD?” it usually means one of three things: a) he’s about to ask me if I’ve completed my tax return, b) he wants to know if I’ve got my car ready for winter yet, or c) he wants to warn me to “WATCH OUT FOR FOOKWITS AND LOONIES” next time I go out. This time, though, his agenda was different. He led me into the porch and pointed to a rack that contained various gardening footwear – some of which, from what I could gather, dated from as far back as 1946.
I loved this and I actually laughed out loud. The first time I read one of your essays, I told you I was reminded of James Thurber. As your dad would say-THIS WAS BETTER,
He looks like he’s at a swim-up bar for frogs. I would have loved to have seen your mum and dad as presenters on Gardener’s World
You had me laughing from start to finish. Why are older parents do much fun? Although as it is happening we often don't see the humor until we look back. 😉 Thanks for the 😃.
Laughed out loud and am still smiling. Sharing this with others who enjoy a brilliantly written piece of humor with their coffee.
So very funny. I wish I could write like that!
Oh my! This is going to keep me smiling all day. Thanks for another gem. I now wait with glee for your mum and dad’s ‘our garden’ VT to pop up on Gardener’s World.
What a delightful story! The toad adventures bright me right back to my love of The Wind in the Willows as a child...
Wow! Amazingly beautifully woven between the toad(s), dad, mom, and yourself. Thank you for this moment.
Hilarious. The bit about the Alsatian made me shake with laughter.
Well this is simply fantastic.
A perfect start to the morning. A toad and your wild DAD.
Yep I'm an older parent and I definitely recognize myself in this portrayal. We are vibrating on a whole different level. I load up the food table with many disparate dishes some of which have no relevance to the actual meal. But more is better right? Also at this time we have a slightly different relationship to the natural world many of whom are TRYING TO MAKE CONTACT before we pass over.
Your parents are a hoot. What a character your dad is! Does he secrete amphibian pheromones or somehting?
Your dad’s AMAZING!
Brilliant story, love your Dad! Was there a Toad network based on getting around in people's shoes and we just never noticed? That frog is definitely posing 🤣
That brought several smiles to my face this Monday morning. Love your dad, what a character. "Toad of Toad Hall" ... genius