Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Eric Tomlinson RIP

It was a gorgeous February day just like today, one year ago, when I met my Dad after dropping the car for its MOT. He took me to buy a washer as mine had broken down, I was waiting till payday, he was doing my washing (seven in my house!) and I think he was a bit fed up of it.
He was wearing his overalls, flat cap and wellies. He looked (and smelled) every inch the dairy farmer he was.
The washer was duly purchased and being a farmer, he negotiated a discount. As the man from the shop lifted it singlehandedly into the back of my dads vehicle, my dad regaled him of the tale when my mum was in labour at home, complications ensued and she had to go into hospital. When the ambulance arrived, in dads words, they couldn't put daylight under her! (She being approx 16 stones at the time.) He, however, in true Charles Atlas style, picked her up like a baby and carried her to the ambulance.
At this point in the tale, I am standing behind dad raising my eyes skyward to the washer man who just chuckled.

On arrival at my house, we carried the machine into the garage between us. He had a brew of tea with me, declined lunch because he had had a bacon and egg breakfast and was on his way. As he stood at the door before he left, he reminded me he was going to a funeral a few days later and was, I think, looking forward to it as he would be meeting up with a few old farming contemporaries he had not seen for a while. We were due to have a bit of a knees up that weekend for a sisters 40th and it was on the same day as the funeral. "Let me know what you want from the butchers for the party, but you might have to start without me if I end up having a pint with some of these lads."
We did indeed have to start without him because he went home, got his dog, set off for a walk, stopped for a chat at approx 4pm, about 30 minutes later collapsed and died. Just like that.

And now a year later we still can't believe he has gone. It has left a big hole in our lives. He loved life and he loved people. He liked to know a persons story and he had a great knack for finding it out without appearing to be nosey, (which he was,very...)

He had three great loves in his life, farming, faith and family. Or as he termed it, cows,church and children.
Here are a few of the things he liked/enjoyed.......

thick slices of good bacon,
boxing...particularly Cassius Clay,
haggling over a price.....anywhere,
Kate Winslet,
snoozing after lunch,
a broadsheet newspaper... but not paying for it,
strong, thick, well defined eyebrows on women,
Mario Lanza singing The Rose of Picardy,
guiness original in bottles,
political biographies,
shapely legs,
silver birch trees,
Lancashire dialect.

So in his words again, "put the cat out, shut the door, pull the curtains, it's goodnight Vienna."

Goodnight, God bless Erk the stirk.
I hope that I, too, die on a sunny day when I've had bacon and eggs for me breakfast!


  1. I have just read your blog about dad. You have got him down to a t! It is superb, you must get Blaise to have a look. Well done love, Amelia.

  2. And thats how I want to go too. Its so tough for the ones left behind though. xxxx

  3. gosh, you must miss him, he sounds like a lovely dad. you've written a beautiful post, he'd be proud.

    warmest hugs xxx


  4. Hi Big Sis

    What a beautiful tribute to our very lovely Dad. Gone but not forgotten! I miss him for many reasons
    - The way he held my hard warmly when telling a story
    - The way he greeted my children Mary and Edwin by Stroking their faces, as I remember he did when I was a little girl
    - Most of all I miss making his bed with fresh clean sheets
    God bless you Dad, rest in peace