December 20th, 2022 – 1,546

“Talk about your father or a father figure in your life.”

While I was growing up, I had a very strange relationship with the world, because in town a lot of people already knew who I was. It took two different forms, with the common refrain from the people my age being they knew who I was because of my dad. Dad isn’t a celebrity, but he is a public figure, and back then on a break from being one he was a teacher for several years at Primary level. One of the nicest parts of my childhood was that dad was pretty close to universally liked, by both the kids he taught, and in that other public role. Dad currently sits as a local and county councillor for Langney in Eastbourne, and has on and off for decades now. In the 90s, dad was the leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, including in 1990 when Eastbourne’s sitting MP Ian Gow was assassinated by the IRA. From what those involved in the byelection afterwards tell me, had dad wanted to run, he would have become the candidate to replace Gow, and if the election went the way it did in our timeline, would have become Eastbourne’s MP. If any of my imaginary readers have read The Malcolm Effect, now you know why I reference that byelection several times.

I get the impression dad wouldn’t have ever wanted that. When I’ve seen dad doing politics stuff, it’s never been self serving or cynical. Politicians get a bad rap, and it’s largely a deserved one, but I’m grateful I grew up with a role model who showed me that the world isn’t that simple. Granted, I have zero interest in becoming a politician, which dad has always been understanding about. To be blunt, dad has been one of if not the most understanding person in my life, and I have messed up a Lot so that is saying something. That the town never got him as their MP is Eastbourne’s loss, but my gain, as dad’s always put me and my sister first. I know a lot of people aren’t lucky when it comes to biological father figures, and not a day goes by that I don’t thank sheer dumb luck that I had such a positive one by contrast.

Today I wanted to get started on my essays, and, I didn’t. I think maybe I need to get past Christmas first. No, this isn’t me putting it off, but I need to stop for a while and get my bearings better. I’ve also totalled my sleep routine so that’s not super great, but I’m not going to worry about that one too much.