It's often said that becoming a father is the best thing that can ever happen to any man. Your Reaper agrees with that statement, and is looking forward to the day Miss Reaper gives birth to a little Reaper of our own. Now that my employment situation has been sorted out in my private life, I'm finally able to move on after a period of stagnation and fatherhood is something that is now one step closer, I'm pleased to say.
One of the people I have always admired is my dad. He doesn't always have a lot to say, but what he does say is well worth listening to. I imagine a lot of fathers are like that, and I suspect that if I bring up my kids in the same way that Dad brought me up, I shouldn't go far wrong. He's also quite the dab hand when it comes to cars. Earlier in his career, he used to be part of the maintenance team at the council, as a mechanic. He was one of those who had to fix various council-owned vehicles at their garages, whether it be cars, vans or the bin lorries. Therefore, he's a man who knows a hell of a lot about the internal workings of a car.
When I lived back in Wales, every single time my MOT was due, I would always have a word with my dad. There simply wasn't anyone else in the running to have a look at it. He'd have a look at my car, a little Ford Fiesta, and he'd check the entire thing meticulously. Nothing was left untouched. If even the slightest thing was wrong, he'd know how to fix it. In the highly rare event he came across something he didn't know how to fix, he wouldn't let it rest. He'd be looking all over the internet - though not before checking his cherished Haynes manuals - and he'd find the solution. Not only that, but he would get it fixed, and fixed properly.
Many people in the family would take their cars to him to be checked before their MOTs, such was his reputation for thoroughness. It was a well-deserved reputation - every single car that he checked subsequently passed its MOT. Every single one. As I said beforehand, he's not a man who has a lot to say, but I suspect he takes some quiet satisfaction from knowing that.
Your Reaper has been living in Northern Ireland for quite some time now, having made the move to be with Miss Reaper. One of us had to make the move, and I had a lot less to lose were it to go disastrously wrong. Plus a long-distance relationship wasn't going to be an option in the long-term, of course. One of the implications of that is I no longer have my trusted dad to look over the car.
It shows. I had my MOT today in Enniskillen. The car failed the test. Dad would be so disappointed in me...