Dad used to find ways to entertain me - my older brother and sisters had each other to keep amused. So out came the wire to make bubble wands and the concoction to blow bubbles with. Or he'd bring out the wheelbarrow full of water and odds and ends of paint from his workshop - all laid out to make marbled paper.
Climbing into his bed in the morning - a big foam squab indented with his weight, so if you sat on the edge and let yourself go you'd fall down the crevasse into him.
Dad brushing my hair in the morning. It didn't hurt getting the knots out - but it did when he brushed my ears.
Me begging and pleading and guilt-tripping him into getting a cat - 'but Dad, the kitten will starve and die if we don't take it home.' And Dad named him Raz (short for Razputin, after the Boney M song he liked). I think Dad like the cat after Raz ripped open the housekeeper's dog's nose - Dad didn't like the dog much.
Dad telling me to tidy my room or he'd put all the stuff on the floor out with the rubbish. I'm pretty sure he did - but my room's still messy.
Dad taking me to stay with Mum in Kerikeri. I woke up one night while Dad was carrying me out of Mum's room - but I pretended to still be asleep. In the morning I was in Dad's bed and all was right with my world - my Mum and Dad were together again.
All the holidays together. Like the one to Rotorua with Nana and Grandad where I stayed in a motel for the first time - and it had private spas. Or setting up tent in the dark, only for it to blow down during the night.
Dad watching rugby - contorting his body in an extended cross-fingers pose to will the ball over. Often it was Grant Fox kicking - so it usually did work. Or celebrating a try and the chair falling over - so Dad was stuck there with his legs in the air and we're all laughing too hard to save him.
Somebody teasing me about having a large head and I said 'of course, I've jut got a degree,' and Dad saying 'that's right, rub it in, be proud.' He always corrected me when I said 'it's just a BA,' 'it's not JUST anything - you worked hard for it.'
Dad not always accepting my choices - like when I go my ears pierced, the 1st time, he studiously ignored it. Or my 1st tattoo - 'I don't agree with them, but yours means something, it doesn't mean I like tattoos.'
Dad always there - a gruff, shy and retiring - but loving, supportive and protective presence - to the end. The last words I remember him saying were 'good as gold.' I don't know whether he meant him, or us in the future.
He was the sort of dad anyone would be lucky to have and he was mine. I will be forever grateful for having the privilege to say that. I love you Dad - thank you for everything.