Retrospectives Toxic Custard newsletter

August anniversaries

It’s the end of the phone call that I remember the most. Before she hung up, she said: “Drive safely”.

I’m sure it was a standard line, but I’m equally sure she meant it. She was a nurse; the last thing she’d want having communicated the bad news would be the recipient having a crash on the way to be there.

I rang my sister, and simply said “He’s gone”, and we headed to the hospital to see Dad.

That was five years ago today.

I still miss him, the clever, silly man. His final years were a challenge for us, but I know that to the last, he was busy reading, writing, thinking — and watching rugby.

His loss is not something that sticks in my mind constantly, but it is something I think about a lot at this time of year.

Other anniversaries this month

In fact any August in a year divisible by five is full of anniversaries for me.

This year I’ll be turning 45. The beauty of being born in a “zero” year is it’s easy to remember my age.

It’ll be 10 years since I bought my house.

15 years since the only time I lost an hour from my birthday, thanks to the early switch to daylight savings for the Olympics.

It’ll be 20 years since Windows 95 came out, which I remember with great affection. (My eldest son also turned 20 earlier this year – something also remembered with great affection!)

It’ll be 25 years since I started the Toxic Custard mailing list, the forerunner of this blog.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “August anniversaries”

A nice memory of a very sad day for you five years ago.
I remember getting a call from a nurse about the same thing. Quite an unreal feeling.
Great that your kids were old enough to have memories of their grand father.

It is hard to believe it is ten years since you bought your house. Equally hard to believe is that it five years since your father died. The house purchase seems like three or four years ago. I’ve enjoyed the travel through your life for what must be…….don’t know, but over 15 years I think.

I guess I have been following your blog for a long time now since I remember when you bought your house. Time does pass quickly and it seems to go by even faster as I get older. It’s been over 7 years since I came to Australia and I have been an Australian citizen since Jan. 2013. I also lost my dad 9 years ago in 2006. You may not realise it but I have learned a lot about Melbourne and Australia from your blog and Toxic Custard over the years both before and after I moved here. What you write is for me usually very interesting and often helpful too.

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