Father’s Day

Short story.

I found it very interesting in respect of all fathers to have a special day that dedicates to them only. It is a day that the family would gather together and appreciating the value of having a father in the house. The value that out- numbered the presents that are brought before them.

What does the word father means to you? In my own judgment it means the head, resource, rock, pillar and provider. A father is an important figure in the family, but how many people  recognise this day and give thanks or show appreciation to their fathers . To some it is like an ordinary day that goes without being noticed.

It was 21st of June when I was at Bowlers Car Boot sale in Trafford Park when it clicked to me that it was father’s day. Then, I realised that I haven’t seen my father for more than two decades. My father had passed away when I was very young at the age of 11. He had fallen ill and unfortunately his body was too weak to  fight the battle and also age contributed to his final rest. He died aged 88 and I was the last born in a family of 29 children. He was a polygamist and blessed with four wives. My mum was the fourth wife.  In Africa a wealthy man goes hand in hand with polygamy. It is the eye that catches a lot of women and unknowingly they found themselves woven into it. As for men the wealth becomes the pulling factor or a weapon to let women draw closer to them. My father had accumulated a vast  wealth over the years. He had a large heads of cattle, goats, pigs and also a number of servants. I had grown to love him and with time I became his closest friend and I could reveal my secrets and wishes knowing he would never breach any of my trust.

At times he would gently touch my nose and lifted it up a little higher in a straight line. “Let it be like that of a white man’s nose,” said my father with a posh voice.  I would laugh with joy and felt superior because my father had likened my nose to that of white man’s. In those primitive times,  the majority of black people or  in Africa thought a white was superior when compared to them and some had taken extra mile to worship him rather to worship a true God. I knew that my father wasn’t that primitive to think a white man was better than him but he only wanted to see me smiling since in those days it was prestigious to be linked or connected to a white man especially in young children’s minds.

I was always proud of my father. In his early days he was a teacher, a business man and a farmer. In the early 80s he was appointed as a chief. Sometimes I would play around with the words and said to him “Father, you are not only a chief who rules his own people but you are also a chief breeder,” I would say it out with a squeaking naughty voice and I would see him exploding his lungs with laughter. “Oh! You daughter of mine, I tell you one day you will be in England. The Queen’s land. You are very intelligent,” commented my father. I would giggle with laughter that would only stop when interrupted by my other little cousin who always wanted to know what was going between us.

I cherished that little time that I had with my father and unfortunately the great two enemies known as illness and death came in our lives and stole my beloved father. He got ill for a long time and sadly we failed to say farewell to each other not because it was our wish but due to geographical distance. By the time he died, I was living in a different place where my elder sisters were looking after me. I heard stories from my mum and our closest relatives that at his deathbed my father was always calling my name and he was desperate to see me. My mum sent some money to my sisters asking us to visit our father before he passed away but  unfortunately my sisters refused to travel claiming that the money that mum had sent was not sufficient for the journey. I requested one of my elder sisters to give me the money so that I could travel on my own since I knew the place but she refused claiming that I could get lost. I was extremely disappointed that I went for days without touching any food that they offered me and for a long time whenever deep emotions troubled me I grieved for my father.

Fatherhood is very important. Fathers love your children!

Children have quality time with your fathers whilst you have the time!

Mothers continue to support your husbands and encourage your children to cement relationships with their fathers!

Maintain your relationships and have a fewer quarrels as they can ruin a good relationship!

The Amazing Work of The Gifted Hands

I found myself staring at the most intriguing man made wonders of the world. I looked around and I saw a multitude of people flocking to and fro and I realised I was not alone, with the unquenchable desire to see the most distinctive building in the Northern region of Europe. I stared and stared it again and I wondered who were these men who were utterly genius that they had tremendously displayed their mental power to build an astonishing building that world had ever seen. As my eyes continued to explore the beauty of York Minster Cathedral I found myself standing next to a light painted green life-size statue of Constantine.  The resemblance showed he was a man of great power and probably mightily feared and respected in the whole world.

As I turned around I screamed loudly. “It’s amazing,” I said and it was echoed by a huge number of people. “Absolutely,” they chorused. But this was the beginning of my appetite. The hunger to know the depth of the root had inflicted my mind. I was filled with some emotional desire to know the brain-storm of this mesmerising building. Fortunately it did not take long before my hunger was rewarded.

York Minster foundations can be compared to a tiny dot of the word. It was in the year of 627 when it was built. It was chiefly established for the baptism of the Anglo Saxon King, Edwin of Northumbria. It was a tiny wooden church. The baptism took place on Easter Sunday. Soon after his baptism, Edwin ordered that the small wooden church to be rebuilt in stone. Unfortunately in 633, Edwin was killed before the completion of the church hence it did not meant that it was the dead end of the assignment but it flowed. The work was delegated to Oswald. The small stone church was constructed on the same site as the original wooden church and it was enlarged time and again. Surprisingly, it fought all types of odds through the Viking age in York, but it also faced its first ever deadly catastrophe. It was engulfed by fire in the 1069 when the gigantic Normans had overthrown the city.

It did not take long before the Normans had decided to replace the damaged Saxon Minster church. It was around 1080 when Thomas of Bayeux became and archbishop and began building the cathedral that become what we have today. The vast of Norman was polished up around the 1100 and the distinctive base can still been seen today.

In 1215, a prominent figure known as Walter Gray became the archbishop. It is during his time of 40 years of service when a captivating idea channelled into his mind to transform the church into the Minster we have today. It is understood that the South and North transept were built first. Unfortunately, like Edwin, Walter passed away before their completion. Was it a curse?  I asked myself. No, said my thoughts. It was meant to be passed on generation to generation until it was fully completed.

Then, Nave western end was erected 1360 after major work had commenced in 1291. Later the work was transferred to East end with the building of Lady Chapel which was completed by 1405.

Accomplishment was not easy or like spreading margarine on a slice of bread. There was sweat and blood in the process of building. The builders faced major setbacks that were utterly compelling. In all, the fire wanted to destroy the hearts of these medieval architectures. In February 1829 Jonathan Martin purposely started a fire in the Quire. This act of combustible resulted in the destruction of the whole east end roof and timber vault and all the wooden furniture of the Quire. 11 years later a second, accidental, fire destroyed the Nave roof and later a central tower was reportedly collapsed and work replacement was not done till 1433. It was between 1433 and 1472 that the western towers were added and the Minster was finally completed. It had taken over two centuries and five decades (250) for it to please the eyes of the world from one generation to another. Even in the twentieth century, the 1967, 1972 and 1984 the fire had stroked again on the building like a venomous snake.

I found myself being amused with such detailed work that the ancient architecture had displayed over the years and it’s absolutely second to none. Inside, the building, I saw stained glass window depicting the family tree of Jesus Christ and on another stained glass window depicting King Solomon. These wide distinctive decorations within the Minster building left me without a word that I found some of the intricate ornate carvings were simply baiting to watch that they also led me to see the medieval perpendicular gothic style. The perpendicular style, which relies on a network of intersecting mullions and transoms rather  on a diversity of richly carved forms for effect, gives an overall impression of great unit, in which the structure of both windows of both clerestory and east end are integrated with arcade below the vault above.

The exciting news is that the current York Minster administrators are making sure that the ancient architectural would not come to a dead end but passed on from generation to generation. They are only doing this by doing a project known as York Minster Revealed and it is supported by Heritage lottery Fund. The aim of the project is to preserve and to repair this prehistoric building is constant.

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My Treacherous Boots

Have you ever give yourself a thought about something you loved most or something you had ever loved before? Are you still connected to that thing or somehow it had crossed your the pathway? How do you feel when it betrays you or when it is taken away from you or completely destroyed? There is only one theory that says the thing you cherished most can be compared to a life of a clay pot. It’s very fragile, so either you keep it safe or it can be taken away and also you can break it.

This had been a relationship between me and my beloved brown boots. I fell in love with them the moment I saw them in one the shops known as Shoe Zone. I could only describe it as love on the first sight. I wanted to purchase them the very moment I had seen them but alas I did not have the cash. I decided to buy them some other time when I know my pocket would be fine but at the same time I was also praying inwardly that the stock would not last before I possess them.

In a less than a week, the shoes were now in my hands. I loved; I kissed, and stroked them several times. They were appropriate for winter season which was due. My first time I wore them was one of the Sundays when I went to my local church. All the way to church by bus and from the church I received thousands of compliments about the shoes. I felt great and proud of my choice.

One morning I was rushing for the bus and while on the middle of the road my boots slipped violently that my legs were left at 180 degrees apart. I endured a great pain that I had to crawl to cross the road and fortunately there was no traffic close by. As weeks progressed, I put on my adorable boots once more and on this day it was raining. I was happily singing a chorus song as I walked down Littleton road heading to Salford student village and I was coming near the round-about when I found myself skidding aggressively not once but twice before my hands touched the ground. “Sorry! Are you OK,” I heard a male voice asking me. “Yeah fine. Its them boots,” I said as I pointed them with my fore finger. “I’ m glad that you are fine. I thought you were going to split into two because the way you landed was badly that I feared for your life,” added the caring male voice.  “Thank you”, I murmured with a girlish tone and the young man was gone. We were going on opposite directions. After a while I told myself that I should put away the boots for a longer rest.

Three months later after the last dangerous episode, I was tempted again to wear them. It was the same love that I had experienced when I first saw them that was now oozing from my heart to put the boots on. I grabbed and shoved them on to my feet.  Feeling content, I left my house and boarded one of the Stagecoach double-decker buses to Openshaw but my fate was still waiting to strike again. I walked safely on to the bus and it was when I was about to drop off from the Stagecoach motor vehicle when an accident occurred again with my boots. I had managed to descend carefully from the stairs and I was almost few inches from the door when my boots glided fiercely and sending my left leg front- wards and the right leg backwards in a quickest spilt that my body had ever experienced but this kind of split I had only witnessed on professional dancers.  If I was dancing, I think the spectators would label it as second to none split they had ever seen. I landed heavily on to the floor that left other passengers numb. They were terrified and some of them thought that I had actually broken one of my legs. “Are you ok”, they chorused. “Fine,” I said and tried to put a smile on my face. “I just need two people to lift, ple…” I was already up before I finished my sentence. Two gentlemen had managed to lift me up without any struggle. I was safely led out from the bus and made to relax. After the bus driver was satisfied that there were no complications or anything of life threatening on me, he resumed with his journey. He had thought of calling the ambulance but after I had assured him that I was well. He left nodding his head in shock. Apparently some people who had seen me falling down, they told me that one of my boots had stepped on an empty plastic packet of crisps which was lying on the floor. They were truly convinced it was the root of my split fall.

Back at my house, I packed my boots away where my eyes could not reach. I did not want to touch them again though my heart was aching for them. They had been in a “safe” place for almost five months. But today, early morning I was tempted again to put on them. It was the Manchester weather that had actually forced me to go and reveal the forbidden hidden treasure and that had always risked my life. Outside, it was raining and I thought it will be good again to have the boots on my legs and hence I am protected from the cold. I quickly fetched them from the clandestine place. I was on my deadly gear but this time I was not going far from house. I was going to a local shop to drop my some of my cakes for sale. I decided to board a bus though the place where I was going was only ten minutes walk from my house but I wanted only to utilise my weekly bus pass since I had one already and also avoiding the rains.

In three minutes I had already reached my destination. I alighted from the bus and I had just walked less than few metres from the bus stop and I could see the bus was still loading more people when my boots slipped heavily that I landed one knee down and whilst the other was up. Guess where I was? I was on Cromwell Bridge. I picked up myself quickly. I resumed with my journey as if nothing has happened but actually my right knee was in pain that at first I thought it was severely bruised. The pain lasted for ages. I never bothered to look around because I was certain that there were a number of people who had seen me falling down and some them I had already seen them before the incident. They were standing on the bus stop just across the other side of the road.

The bad experiences that I had faced with my loving boots had cajoled me to put it in black and white. I promise you readers that I am not going to wear them again but to preserve them for references. Something you love can be treacherous and give you some heart burns. Despite the all the adventures I had, they are really warm inside. Probably I should wear them at home when I am relaxed and not going anywhere.