Mark Bolland

Hi Jude, we have met a couple of times, the first time with you and your Dad when you were only a baby (a big baby mind you) and then more recently for lunch with your Mum and Dad when you also met Flávia, my wife.

I first met your Dad when we worked at Business Objects and within minutes of meeting him, I knew I would enjoy working with him and only a few hours later when we were in the pub I knew we would also be good friends. Your Dad was a warm, friendly, funny and smart guy and it’s no surprise to hear and see the huge number of stories and memories shared from people who loved him. He, in turn, had lots of love for his friends but it was no secret that you and your Mum were absolutely top of his list.

You’re already showing a lot of similarities to your Dad and if you continue to take after him when it comes to dealing with people, this will stand you in good stead throughout life. One word of warning, your Dad did have a dodgy taste in shirts sometimes, so try to keep that in check. wink emoticon

A small example of your Dad and his typical generosity.
I was abruptly woken, one Saturday morning, on my birthday to boot, by my phone ringing. Who in the name of the wee man is waking me at 7.30am on my birthday? I thought.
Guess who? Only your Dad! “MATE! How’s it going? Do you fancy a hospitality ticket to the Rugby this afternoon at Twickenham” Wow, fantastic offer. I was sorely tempted to say yes, as I knew a day out with your Dad at the rugby would have been a great day and memorable for some reason, no doubt! However, in my still half-asleep state, I thanked your Dad profusely for his kind offer but told him that Flávia, my wife, (I’ll tell you another time the story about the day you met Flávia!) had lots of plans for me starting with early evening dinner, then the theatre and afterwards some drinks. So I thanked your Dad and went back to bed around 7.40am. I was just about to doze off again when the phone rang again. I missed it this time as I had left it in the other room, I got up and saw that your Dad had phoned again! I called him back and got his voicemail, he was leaving me a voicemail. So I waited a minute and phoned again. “Hey Mate, I just realised it was your birthday! Happy Birthday, Have a great day.” Ha!
So I was originally thinking your Dad was offering me the ticket because it was my birthday (which was nice enough) but no, he was just offering me the ticket because he had thought of me! He was a wee bit special your Dad.

Below I have added some photos from a Business Objects sports day where your Dad fully participated. He was never afraid to act the fool! Dodgy black curly hair, fat suit, growling while holding a blue cushion? and then just splashing about. Then a few years later, a photo from a friend’s birthday party that for me kind of sums your Dad up. So he’s on a night out with friends, he’s with his soul mate, your Mum, he’s a tad tipsy, he’s singing, he’s dancing but best of all he has a big lump of a bandage on his recently self-sliced thumb! Ask your Mum to tell you the story, Jude.

Looking forward to seeing you and your Mum soon and I’ll tell you a few more stories.

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