“I just sing in the bathroom these days. I sing some of the tunes I used to perform with a sense of nostalgia. It’s frustrating, that I cannot project my voice the way I used to. But I have to accept that my strength is no longer there, even though the voice is. The voice is the last thing that dies. Because, when we’re about to leave the world, we just sigh and let go.”

Paul Asciak, aged 85, former tenor and first tutor of Joseph Calleja, Malta’s finest tenor.

Tomorrow my father is 71. Quite a milestone for him, and for us. I cannot remember celebrating my parents’ birthdays, when I was a child. After all, life revolved around us kids, not grown-ups.

I guess all that changed, once I had my own child.

What also changed is that I live in perpetual fear of losing people I love.

Doesn’t everyone?

So this evening I embed this little, twisted black video here, to chase away my fears. And in honour of my father – who has lived his life, his way, despite more than his share of deaths and misfortunes.

Since cheating death is not a viable option, there is much to learn from my father. In his winter years, he has became adept at living for the day, for the moment, for the 90-minutes duration of a Milan match and a beer with his friends. My father just refuses to grow up. So when I see him with my five year-old, it’s not difficult to know which one of the kids is the wiser. Or the merrier.

Happy birthday Dad.

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