This will go down as the year in which I discovered the extent of friendship. During my most difficult times, Facebook has been a godsend. I have been overwhelmed, moved beyond belief and genuinely surprised by people’s kindness: old and new friends, complete strangers, all expressing genuine concern and, regularly, offering practical help and support.
But here’s the thing: I really, really enjoyed it. I spend my life in front of a TV or computer screen and don’t get to talk to that many people during my working day. It was great to meet so many different folk and to see them having fun on what proved to be a very successful night. I’ve never been called “love” so many times in one day, and I enjoyed that, too (but don’t try it when I’m on the other side of the bar or you’ll get a smack in the gob).
For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, Amazon has brought out a device called the Echo. It’s a tube about eight inches long and it plays music, suggests wine, tells jokes – in fact, it does pretty much everything you ask it do, apart from wash the dishes.
For me, there is no contest. We are all in this life together, and it is our moral duty to support those who are weaker than ourselves – the frail, the sick, the mentally ill, the young and vulnerable, the elderly (also vulnerable) and in fear… I could go on. It’s called having a heart.
I just don’t believe that we rise from the dead. I don’t even want to. It’s a nice comforting through to help humans deal with the fact that our breathing stops (all religions have their version of this), but that doesn’t make it true. I feel joyous in the knowledge that we pass things on while we are living, so many things that influence the lives of future generations; that, to me, is everlasting life, and I take immense pleasure in its simplicity. And, to be honest, there aren’t many people I ever want to see again; I’m done with most of you already.
I was brought up in education with the Henry Grantland Rice adage: “For when the One Great Scorer comes/ To mark against your name/He writes – not that you won or lost/ But how you played the Game.” Well, stuff that for a bunch of soldiers.
Christmas is a very stressful time for people with phobias. It’s a dreadful time for people born in the festive season for example, if they suffer from Fragapanophobia (fear of birthdays); and for anyone thinking of substituting turkey for duck, spare a thought for anyone coming to dinner who might be suffering from Anatidaephobia, which is a fear that one is being watched by a duck.
Having planned to return to the UK tomorrow for my summer holiday, I have had to cancel it all and stay resting. I can’t open the refrigerator door without experiencing pain and have been advised that carrying or lifting anything is out of the question until the ribs heal (I’m making an exception for wine glasses, but even they are not plain sailing).
I know that, for some inexplicable reason, you have accidentally stumbled upon me in this bizarre virtual world that we all now inhabit. But I did not invite you, so I can only imagine that, given your attire, I must have Googled something along the lines of “tarty, cheap, slutty, skimpy underwear” in the past and, strangely, that led somebody to believe we were a perfect match.