Without “blowing his cover”* I'd like to raise the issue of my Dad and his “occupation”. He's acquired a rather convincing limp. Now, I'm not sure whether this is an injury from “work” or from a “fall” he had a few winters ago, but he's been keeping it pretty consistent for three years. It hasn't suddenly switched legs in the middle of a stroll to the market. The guy's a pro. Or a “Professional” (see Jean Reno)

I like to think the “limp” is part of his “persona”. His “persona” of business prof/self unemployed consultant. I like to think my Dad, let's call him “DAD” is some sort of spy, akin to a Jason Bourne/James Bond/Simon Templar/Maxwell Smart. Since I can remember “DAD” has worked away from home. Home is where me and Mum were, and “DAD” travelled here and there, keeping us in lipsticks and latte's.

This was a less than ideal lifestyle for my Mum, and a totally acceptable one for me, as it had always been that way since I was teensie. By High School I, along with my friends (one in particular) were pretty convinced that “DAD” had a secret life. A few variations have taken shape. First; The Green River Killer ( . . . . a bloody axe falls out of his briefcase and he just shrugs it off.)Second; Mafia . Finally, my personal favorite (fingers crossed) the aforementioned Secret Agent. Naturally my friend and I were “sleeper” agents, what with our mutual Eastern European connections. And one day we too would be put into action and would begin leaping expertly from rooftops and roboticly and systematically firing semi-automatic weapons. But we're not talking about me here.

At a youthful 66, I expect “DAD”'s secret agent days are coming to an end. He's no Sean Connery, and he's got the “limp”. However he still manages to find the most dangerous places on earth to go visit LED light manufacturers(?). I don't know what was going on in Trinidad in the early 90's but he was there A LOT. More recently the list of these un-savory locations begin with a variety of “Stans”, Russia(the corrupt kind), Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Fiji was cancelled . . . . (due to the Coup) and was replaced with Samoa, until the earthquakes, and next on the list is Sierra Leone. Natch. Now either the man is still “live” or finally he's putting some of that cash he's been squirrelling away for the past 20 years to good use and picking up some Blood Diamonds for me and my Mum.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps. But “DAD” can yammer on all he wants about his students, these manufacturers in god knows where and how he's a crotchety old man. I don't believe it for a second. I know as soon as Canada's out of ear-shot and he lands back in Europe, the Velcro sneakers come off and the Cesare Paciotti brogues go on. His weapon of choice? His biting wit, and probably a tidy little hand gun.

DAD” returns to his sleepy home a few times a year to find cauliflower soup and cups of milky luke warm coffee waiting for him. He laughs at inappropriate jokes, and sneers at small children (for about 19 years I was one of them). He appropriates those behaviors synonymous with an average dad/husband, but I know what's really going on. . . . He is merely a ringing shoe-phone away from his next mission.

*first use of inverted comma's, these will appear roughly 17 more times in this note.