When I was younger, I was a complete Mummy’s girl. But over the years I became just as much of a Daddy’s girl, appreciating my gem of a father more and more each year. He’s now 78 and lives on his own in the Netherlands. It’s far away, but I speak to him every morning after publishing the first blog post of the day. We are closer now than we have ever been and grow closer each year.

As financial director for a large shipping company, my Dad worked long hours and was often away on business. But even though he worked extensively during the week, I have very fond memories of us spending time together as a family over the weekends. So I’m taking you back to 1976 when our family lived in Hong Kong. Brace yourselves for some 70’s fashion.

My Dad loves boats and being near the water. Given limited leisure time, he combined his love for all things nautical with spending time with his kids. So almost every weekend we were either on a boat, admiring boats, by the seaside, or enjoying the fresh sea air on our way to an outlying Hong Kong island.

Outings with Dad 1

The picture above left shows a typical Sunday afternoon family outing. We’d drive out to Tai Tam where my Dad docked his boat, “the Tikkie”. That’s my Dad, brother and I on a jetty walking towards the Tikkie. Who says you can’t wear a frock on a boat. The picture on the right was taken at Repulse Bay Beach, where we’d climb on the rocks and play in the sand after a very unhealthy meal at MacDonald’s. Doesn’t my Dad look dapper wearing shorts with shoes with socks – something he’ll still do when I’m not around. Oh well! He’s still my precious Papa. I don’t love him any less.

Below is another picture of Dad on a boat because he loves, loves, loves boats. Denim bell bottoms, tight polyester shirt, suede jacket, weathered brown belt and a rather ratty long beard. Got to love the 70’s. On the right you can see my brother and I holding puppies on one of our outdoorsy weekend adventures on Lantau Island (the biggest island in Hong Kong). Both my Mum and Dad encouraged us to bond with animals so there’s a picture of us and some kind of fur baby on virtually every family outing. That’s the last time I wore navy pants but my preference for button down shirts continues.

Outings with Dad 2

My Dad, or Papa as I call him, is a kindhearted, sweet natured, selfless and generous man. He’s gentle yet strong, quietly social and very polite. He loves to read, have political conversations, make pancakes and watch war movies. He also loves his afternoon “borreltje” (aperitif) and enjoys eating out at cozy restaurants. I’ve been blessed with a fabulous Dad whom I love very much despite his naughty stubborn streak. It is sad that he can no longer share his experiences with my late Mum, but at least he has his kids, kids-in-law, a very cute grandson and the most adorable grand Yorkies.

The picture below was taken in Amsterdam by my best friend Lori when we visited my Dad in the Netherlands four and half years ago. Papa might not have the best shoes and shorts style, but he hands down has the best laugh in the world. It’s straight from the heart and the belly and you can’t help but burst out laughing when he does. What a gift.

Outings with Dad 3

We at YLF wish you a all very happy Father’s Day on Sunday.