Being a good father is easy – circumstances can get complicated but the job itself is not rocket science. Your “client” is a child who wants love, security and fun – how hard is that?


Broken Fathers – (well actually some of the damaged figures from the 1925 fire in Madam Tussauds)

Fatherhood 101.

We need to teach our children a leisure orientated skill not related to a salary cheque . . . .

There are days I get toweringly angry on the subject of fathers. I had a father, a step father and two father-in-laws – they were a miserable bunch and their contribution to my life was small to non-existent. Today for the first time I realized that none of them taught me one single skill that has enriched my life.

This came about as a result of me watching a video showing a man making a knife in his workshop. The process was filled with quirks and nuances only learnt by practice and experience. The workshop was well-used and filled with machines perfect for knife making – the more I watched the more I realized how far out of my reach this project was. Besides the skills, the machinery alone would cost thousands of dollars. None of my father figures made knives but then I realised that not one of them had taught me a single thing that could be describe as fun, recreational or leisure related.

A long list of fun things jumped to mind – playing chess, the guitar, soccer, volleyball woodwork, steelwork, how to ride a motorcycle, fishing, hunting, model trains, rocketry, painting, welding, sculpture, biltong making, philosophy, prayer, puppetry, sound engineering – these are some of the things that fill my spare time, things that make my life fun and interesting and not one of them was taught to me by my father figures. What the hell – they never taught me a single recreational skill! One played golf but never even took me to the range. One was gardener but I cannot get a lettuce to grow. One could weld but my welding skills are self taught and rudimentary. The last was a fisherman but fishing remains a closed book to me.

Now I have to ask myself – what recreational skills have I taught my three children? Will I be just as guilty as the previous generation? It’s a sobering thought.