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Over the last few weeks, I have experienced three very pleasant social interactions with my father.

On one occasion he came to our home for Sunday lunch, as did several other family members. It was a happy and relaxed event, and many of us ended up singing and then playing our favourite Beatles songs (including my nine-year old niece, proving that beautiful melodies are timeless in their appeal).

A few days later, my father and I had lunch at a restaurant together. We shared a bottle of wine, and had a pleasant meal and a good chat.

Soon after that it was Father’s day. By way of celebration, my husband and I met with my father and his wife at a local wetlands and bird sanctuary. We did a walk through the sanctuary and had a picnic, and despite the dire forecasts, the weather was kind to us.

These three events were very happy ones, but in each case represented a last for me and my father – last carefree Sunday lunch at our home, last meal together in a restaurant and a last picnic. How can these three events have happened so recently and be ‘lasts’ you ask? Such is the nature of the disease and the speed of mental and muscular deterioration. In each case the outing was only just possible and presented its own logistical challenges. Any repeats will be that much harder to arrange and there will be less of a connection.

So how does this all relate to wine? Apart from the obvious direct correlation between me drinking wine and me singing Beatles songs in public, on all three occasions, wine was consumed along with food. The food and wine were irrelevant apart from the fact that they provided the fulcrum around which our social engagements were arranged.

In each case I remember which wine we had, and going forward, when I drink any of those wines, I will remember those three perfect, happy occasions spent with my Dad.

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