Patrick, my father, aged 50, cradles me, the third of his three sons, on a bright morning early in 1951.
The horizon, just over my head, is the English Channel, viewed from our home in Sidmouth, Devon.
Patrick spent most of the 1950s in declining health and he died on 5 November 1959, forty-two days before his 59th birthday.
To me he was always kind, loving, indulgent and funny.
And like all true storytellers, there was also something mysterious and unknowable about him.
And today, my life has lasted exactly as long as his.