I adored Humphrey Lyttelton from early childhood. I was fed a steady diet of Humph jazz, any jazz in fact, all through, because of my wonderful dad, who was a big fan.
I watched a programme about him a couple of nights ago, and it reminded me of the happiness he brought to my childhood home, and the sadness I felt on his death earlier this year. He was born just a couple of months after my father, same year, and in terms of my dad's love for big band jazz and all the greats, Duke Ellington, etc, etc, and their silly senses of humour, their love for life, and their positive outlook, they could almost have been twins. I remember going to a Humph gig in the 1980s in Putney. It was a fantastic evening, in a small pub. At the break, Dad met Humph in the men's. Humph appeared back for the second set, but not dad. In a very loud voice, Humph said
"I've been told if I have to begin this set on time, to play very loudly because one of our small audience is stuck in the loo." And he gave one of his famous stares. We laughed so much, when Dad walked back in to Humph's (very loud) accompaniment.
Dad met him three or four times altogether at different gigs, and each time found him genial if approached, and of course terribly funny.
We both became big fans of I'm sorry I haven't a Clue. What a programme that was! Though it was absolutely filthy in terms of the 'lovely Samantha'.
Anyway, bit of an odd post, because the programme made me think of my lovely dad. I was blessed with the kindest dad I could have had. I don't remember him once saying he didn't have time for me. He'd come home from work, and immediately settle down to be pulled around and dragged into endless games, and I don't remember him getting angry. I really don't. I simply don't know how he did it. That man didn't seem to get tired. But he had children later in life and saw us as God's blessing. We felt it, and although he's been dead some years, I still feel uplifted by it.
So, thank you, dad.