I’m in the singular position of not knowing where to begin with a post. I usually launch into my fashion prattle with barely a breath of hesitation. After the loss of my beloved father and the surprise response to 11 Lessons from my Dad, I don’t quite know how to pick up my blog again. Chirping on about this season’s statement skirt or chunky sandal feels trite in the extreme. However, normal business must resume at some time other. My Dad would have been mortified if he had thought that after he left this world, I wouldn’t be getting on with my life. He was never one to mess about or crumble in the face of adversity, so get on I shall. However I need to I acknowledge the events of the past 10 days or so.

I have been bowled over by the messages of condolence that have flown my way. Many people from all over the world have expressed their personal sorrow and sympathy at my Dad’s passing. I’ve been grateful for every kind word. The death of an actor whose body of work has a broad spectrum of appeal usually generates a certain degree of public lament. However, what I have found truly extraordinary is how Dad’s 11 lessons has gone ‘viral’ – a most unfortunate term in my view, but it is apt none the less. Scores of people from all over the world have got in touch with me to say how they were moved by his words. A number of folk have written to say that they’ve printed out the list and stuck it on the fridge to give themselves a daily reminder of  his sage advice. A few have messaged me to say that they are having a hard time at the moment but the 11 Lessons has given them a little comfort and hope.

This response has come as a complete surprise to me. I did have a chuckle at the number of journalists who think that my name is Haute. Nonetheless, the 11 Lessons are entirely genuine – it’s how he lived his life and what he said to me when I was distressed, vexed or angry. I wrote them down to remind myself of how he was – I’m frightened that time will unravel my already frayed memory and I’ll forget. However, the resonance of my Dad’s words echoing across the globe gives me great solace, it’s as though he’s not quite gone.

A dear friend of mine called me shortly after the news of Dad’s passing broke and said something that really stuck with me. She spoke of when her own father died a number of years ago and how her love for him has deepened over time. I realised that love doesn’t wither and die with the frail, fallible human body. It pulls up an easy chair, settles in and makes itself good and comfortable in the heart. Even though my Dad has died, my love for him endures and will continue to grow for as long as I live.

I will endeavour to get back to blogging as normal, but it may take a little time. My fashion focused writing will be peppered with musings about loss and love for a while. Maybe my blog will be all the richer for it – one more thing I have to thank my Dad for.



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