An Unbreakable Bond

“So, we meet again, Mr Bond…”

This week I learned that wouldn’t happen. In fact, I’d never meet him for the first time. The legendary Sir Roger Moore has shuffled off this mortal coil to the great expensive-looking finale in the sky.

I’ll be honest, it’s left me feeling sad. His passing marked, for me, the end of an era.

You see, though others hold Connery dear or have a soft spot for Dalton or Brosnan. Mr Moore, will forever be my Bond. He may not have had Timothy’s good looks, Sean’s alpha male dynamism or, for that matter, Daniel’s lunchbox, yet, to me, Roger was the man.

To put this into context, I’ve always been something of a Bond obsessive. The bit of the brain many other men leave for football is, in my case, stuffed with Bond facts and figures. Something about this most cinematic of franchises clicked with me and has never left – thanks, mainly, to Mr Moore. During the hard times in my life I’ve always looked to these films for (A Quantum of) solace.  I know them backwards, I speak the lines along with the characters karaoke-style. Like a comfortable slipper, I put one on and know I’m at home.

But there’ll be no more Moore, and that makes me sad. I had planned that watching Roger’s canon of Bond-fare would be a pivotal rites-of-passage moment for Sam and I. A father & son bonding (no pun intended) moment. It’s just a shame that Sam will always know Sir Roger as someone who’s dead. I don’t mean this churlishly. I was born 6 months before John Lennon died. My mum, now sadly no longer with us either, was a HUGE Beatles fan. I mean obsessive. So John was a big part of the landscape of my childhood, but as someone ethereal, a person I shared negligible time on the planet with. I knew he was important but always felt robbed by the impossibility of a (highly improbable) meeting with him. So it must be with Sam and Sir Roger.

You see, in Moore’s Bond, I learnt a lot about being a man. He was confident, cocky sometimes, but only with a heavy dose of irony. He didn’t take himself too seriously. Moore’s Bond wasn’t so tied up in his own machismo that he was impenetrable to others. Most of the time, when he got into a fight, you worried for him. He threw punches that looked as threatening as WI coffee morning. When he did a karate kick I worried he’d throw his back out. His hair was always perfect, even when his acting wasn’t. His Bond was a bit crap at times, and I loved him all the more (Moore) for it!

I’m no flag waver. I don’t like the Last Night of the Proms, or Union Jack underpants. You’ll never hear me putting that extra syllable in to England (Eng-er-land). But that moment, in The Spy Who Loved Me, where Sir Roger skis over the edge of the cliff and falls into the abyss – only to open a parachute emblazoned with the Union Jack. Well, it makes the hairs on my neck stand every time – and I’ve seen it hundreds. It makes me proud to be British. British in the way Moore’s Bond was, aware of a great tradition, with a tongue firmly in its cheek.

Sir Roger was, of course, much more than Bond. He did amazing work for children all around the world through UNICEF – a role which made him (in my eyes) far more heroic that Jimmy B ever did.

So what’s all this got to do with being a Dad? I’m aware Sam will find his own heroes, people who represent values he aspires to emulate. Whoever the role models Sam chooses are, I hope he gets as much pleasure from them as I have from Sir Roger’s work over the years.

For me, nobody did it better.

RIP Mr Moore.

Still Sinking…

The Out of Depth Dad. 

@Outofdepth_dad

 

The Empty Nest…

I know that this is going to sound ridiculous. I can hardly believe I’m writing it myself.

But Sam and his mum are away, visiting her family and I miss them… loads.

That, you may note, is not ridiculous in itself. Missing my partner and my son is not a strange thing – of that I’m aware. But stay with me on this…

I feel like Morgan Freeman – sadly I don’t share his sonorous tones – in The Shawshank Redemption. I assume you’ve all seen it. If you haven’t, what on earth are you doing reading this? You must stop immediately and watch the movie. I’m not joking.

Good. They’ve gone.

In the film, you’ll remember that Morgan’s character ‘Red’ gets out of prison, after a long old sentence, and suddenly doesn’t know what to do with himself. All of those things he’d promised himself that he’d do don’t have the same attraction when he’s actually out. In fact, Red would much rather go back inside the prison. He likes its routine, its certainties.

Now, before people start screaming at me, I know very well that fatherhood is not a prison. It does, however, share some similarities. What I’m thinking of is a lack of self-determination. You can’t just do what you want to do, when you want to do it. There have been many times in the months since my son and heir was born during which I’ve just craved silence, a nice cold beer and a Bond film on the telly. I’m a man of predictably simple tastes.

So now, here I am in a silent house, with every Bond movie at my fingertips and a fridge full of beer and what do I want?

My family.

Don’t get me wrong. I will have a beer at some stage, and I might even spend an hour or two watching the hi-camp antics of one Mr Roger Moore. It’s all good. But now that I’ve got what I thought I wanted I realize it is a pale whim compared to spending time with my little one and his mum.

I don’t write on here to be unnecessarily soppy, that’s not how I’m built. I’m just telling you how it is. Parenthood is a weird thing, it pushes you to the limits of tiredness, of sanity of… well everything really. But it takes a little break from the daily grind to remind yourself how much you actually enjoy it. How happy you are.

That’s enough profundity from me.

Carry on as you were, I’m off to get used to the temporary peace and quiet.

Still Sinking…

The Out of Depth Dad. 

@Outofdepth_dad