In so many ways it's still so hard. Some things have got easier, the coping day-to-day with the loss, but when the pain hits, it still hits just as hard as ever.
The more photography I do, the sadder I feel that I can't share it with him. When I discover a great new recipe or learn an obscure piece of vocabulary, he's the one I want to tell.
Tonight I got a Chinese takeaway. Dad was a great cook, and when cooking foreign food he always strove for authenticity. He wanted to make Indian food like people in India make it, make Thai food like people in Thailand make it. Similarly when he was eating out, he wanted to go to the curry houses that the local Asian population ate at. When he did some work in Lahore in Pakistan, he avoided the tourist food places and instead found where the locals ate out.
So whenever I go in the takeaway I went to tonight, I think of him because it is very popular with Chinese students. This suggests authenticity. And they have a menu in mandarin on the wall, which is clearly different from the English language menu because of the number of items, and the prices. Whenever I'm in there I imagine my Dad asking the guy who runs it what's different about the Chinese-language menu, what makes those items more popular with the students and others from China, which item was most popular with the Chinese guests, and could he please have that. I smiled as I imagined being faintly embarrassed by all of this, too.
As it was, my takeaway tonight was as inauthentic as it gets - chop suey and chips, both as rooted in the West as is possible. And tasty it was, too.
I miss him. Painfully, frequently and deeply.