For various reasons, I have to go to Wales and Ireland at the weekend.
‘That’ll be nice for you,’ said a neighbour. ‘A nice break.’
Why? Why? Why do people say that???
Wherever I go, for whatever reason, people tell me it will be a nice break. Does it happen to war reporters I wonder?
‘Morning Mrs Perkins. I’m off to Afghanistan and Somalia next week.’
‘Oh. That’ll be a lovely break for you.’
And another thing – whenever I get home late from some trip, people tell me how I am.
‘Oh, you’ll be tired and hungry,’ they tell me. No. Not so. I eat and I sleep while travelling, so I’m usually neither.
Now go to my next posting. That’ll be nice for you. Then have a snack and a snooze, as you’ll be tired and hungry.
‘There is nothing new under the sun’ wrote Mr Ecclesiastes. Voltaire claimed ‘originality is nothing but judicious plagiarism’. And, according to HL Mencken, ‘A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.’
But I decided to ignore them and to pursue originality in its purest form, ending my programme with the most original sound ever.
You can hear my resultant witterings on Radio 4 this Friday (6 April 2012) at 11.00 am, in a peculiar quest entitled In Search of Originality
I’d like to tell you whether I found it or not, but I’m contractually obliged to remain silent – so you’ll just have to listen.
Thanks for the emails asking why I’ve not been Peacockshocking very much over the last few weeks.
Well – it’s because I’ve been making a BBC programme about originality (going out in April) and running the BBC’s new Advanced Features/Documentaries course and devising a BBC Microphones Masterclass. So the BBC is entirely to blame. It literally ate my homework. Not that Peacockshock is homework of course.
A normal service will resume soon.
Interesting. A former nurse who cared for terminally ill people has revealed their five most common regrets in a new book. Bronnie Ware worked in palliative care in Australia, looking after patients in the last few weeks of their lives. And the top five regrets are –
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
‘Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.’
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
‘This came from every male patient that I nursed.’
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
‘Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.’
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
‘Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.’
I wish that I had let myself be happier
‘Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.’
Of course, we’ll all reflect on this for a few minutes. Then we’ll return to the life others expect, working too hard, hiding our feelings, drifting out of touch with old friends and never allowing ourselves to be happy. Hey ho.
Hi. Bolly and I are back after five weeks up north with the parents (grandparents in Boll’s case). December started off with quite a kerfuffle. Dad had an accident, then Mum had a stroke. But they’re now on the mend and Mum’s recovering really well from the aphasia which was thankfully her only symptom.
Elderly Relative on hearing Meatloaf on the radio – What on earth is that?
Me – It’s Meatloaf.
Elderly Relative – Who’s she?
‘You’re lucky they didn’t call you Valentino,’ said the man at the bank.
I chortled politely, concealing my bewilderment and discombobulation. And then I twigged. He’d just looked at my date of birth and had it down as 14/02.
‘Have you got my date of birth down as Valentine’s Day?’ I asked.
Yes, he had.
He had me down as ten months older than I actually was. That was the worst bit.
‘Thank goodness you noticed,’ he said. ‘It would have stopped your new mortgage coming through if we’d got it wrong.’
So it’s now amended, I’m ten months younger and I’m not called Valentino. Result.
Not me – Rudolph Valentino
Not me – a Valentino model
Apologies for Bollinger’s appalling grammar and spelling. I’m sacking the governess. Ian