First of May nineteen sixty five. An amazing event occurred. The angels sang, the heavens shook and flags were unfurled. I came into this world. I don’t know exactly what time because I didn’t have my watch on but one second it was dark the next thing it’s very bright and some bloke in a green surgical mask is lifting me upside down by my legs and slapping my arse….Did you know there is nobody in the world like me? What do you mean thank God?! Nearly eight billion on this planet and I’m the only one of me, never has been or ever will be(unless they do a Dolly the sheep on me). And exactly the same goes for you too. I like being me. With my big ears (actually my head is small making them appear bigger…) and wonky nose but I still think I’m great, and I don’t mean that in a cocky way, far from it. This old face has a well lived in look. I could do with a nip here, a tuck there. In fact my whole body needs renovating but this is what God gave me. I reckon he was tired, maybe putting his feet up after a long day and thought, ‘That’ll do’. My jokes are bad and not very P.C at times as my daughters always tell me. I have my own weird little ways, I like my egg next to my bacon and nowhere near my beans and Tomatoes when I’m devouring a Full English Breakfast. How do you like yours? It’s one of my quirky rules but my wife just says I’m nuts. One thing I’ve found out in this life is you need a sense of humour to get through it. I’m very lucky to naturally have a happy disposition, it’s in the genes I think. It vanished for a while when covid got me, that virus kicked me down, jumped on me and threw me in a pit. I’m crawling out of it now and that feels very good.
I’ve never really taken life too seriously, but this coronavirus malarky has been truly awful, and now and again I genuinely thought it was the end of me. It has taught me a couple of lessons though. The first one is live your life. We are here for a tiny chunk of time so fill it with what’s important to you. My world is full of great things. I’m very lucky to have met the love of my life, got great kids and family so I’m very contented. And the second piece of advice is simple. Just be yourself. Now I know it’s not easy being yourself these days is it? Not when we’re bombarded with so many things. If you don’t wear the right brand or haven’t got the new Apple watch that tells you your heart rate, blood oxygen levels and plays songs at the same time, then you’re practically a nobody. And God forbid if you don’t have many likes on Instagram, or haven’t got that photo just right on Facebook. But does it really matter what people think of you? Course it doesn’t. Be who you want to be, and be happy doing it, with all your individual little ways and unique imperfections that make you, you. This life is a one way ticket and the Grim Reaper is eventually going to catch up with all of us so maybe we need to get a shift on.
And doesn’t time fly by. I’m in my mid fifties now, graying hair, and laughter lines (ok, ok, wrinkles) but in my head at times I’m still fourteen. I was a happy lad, played out with my mates all the time, in all weathers and got in trouble now and then but I can’t imagine what it’s like now to be a teenager. Man alive the pressure to be like this, like that, wear the right clothes with the right logo. I had hand me down clothes when I was a kid which was a bit embarrassing going to school in my sister’s gray pleated skirt but times were tough. And what is it with eyebrows? Why does everyone have to shape them like that? Some girls nowadays wear more make up than Coco the clown. Or even worse, like they’ve been embalmed. It must be terrible though to be under that much stress to look the same but be different. I blame The Kardashians, Gemma Collins, and all those so called ‘Celebrities’. How on earth did all these people with zero talent get to be famous? Take Joey Essex, Friend of the G.C, who became a household name for saying”Reem.” For all of you wondering what that means, its ‘good’ apparently. The poor kid couldn’t even tell the time, but he’s a millionaire now. What an odd world we live in. And strangely, it proves that you can, actually, polish a turd. I’d like to see a new show. Celebrity Prison. You take a load of celebs and put them in a prison then……well… just leave them in there. Six months at least, and put Katie Hopkins in solitary.
Life isn’t plain sailing is it, at some point it’s going to get rough. This journey takes us down some bad roads at times. Set backs, illnesses and losing loved ones and that terrible grief you just can’t avoid. In the bleakest of days the smallest move forward is difficult and yet all these things make you the person you are. I’ve been kicked more times than a football but the trick is you have to keep rolling on, however slowly. And now and again we all have our fears, worries and doubts, but that’s ok isn’t it? As Andy Dufresne famously says in The Shawshank Redemption,”Get busy living or get busy dying”. And when you strip life back, it really is one or the other, so today’s the day, let’s start living shall we?