I had the privilege of having a good father. He provided for his family and never stopped working for them. He was a dentist in Carshalton, Surrey opposite the Fox & Hounds pub on the High St for any local Londoners. Any time of day or night you could call him and he would see you. 24/7/365. He died in 2007 and, like most if us who have lost someone we love, we never stop missing them. Grief is not something you 'get over'. Instead it is something you 'live with'. One of the plus sides of that grief is that you get to reflect on some aspects of their lives over time. My dad would be stunned to see my working in finance now, as he knew me as trainee priest! How the mighty have fallen. However, my dad was a card player and i have been reflecting on it recently. He was good. The whispers in my family were that he used to play for 'big stakes' and would often go to the Irish club in London. The family rumour was that he was crushing it in Bridge with an older lady, but my mother got jealous and put an end to it all. Well, the thing about my dad is that I never met anyone who could play cards like him.

Did he win every hand? No. Did he have incredible skill? in a way he did, but not in picking cards or knowing what to hold (well, none he taught me put it that way). However, my dad won every single significant hand. If there was ever anything big to win, he would win it. Always. He was always so confident too. And grinning with his Irish eyes shining.

Know when to be bold

My dad knew when to go 'all in'. He always knew when to do that. That was his trick. Yes, he lost hands - plenty of them. He never lost the hands that mattered which he always seemed to be in the middle of. So, there is a time when you go in with conviction. It's not every time, but to be good at trading the more 'big hands'' you can play when you have them, the better you will be at year end.

I can still see my dad in my mind's eye playing cards. He had the look of a gentleman fox playing cards with Turkeys. Yes, he was the perfect gentleman, but at the end of the day it didn't have to be Christmas time for him to know he would be eating Turkeys later that night. RIP.