Enough joviality. Like James Blunt, whilst quick witted, self-deprecating – and modest – doom and gloom, nay, a tone of resignation seems to be my style. Unintended, it is merely derived from my observations of life today. Depends where one sets the benchmark, I suppose.
‘Within the present lies the past.’ Audrey Hepburn
The ‘Audrey Experience’ has stayed with me, as has that quote; six powerful words denoting the key to each one of us. It is something which not only fascinates me but, moreover, shines some clarity on the actions of others. For some, it offers an excuse; for others, merely a reason.
I am not sure whether or not I should hold my hand up to watching Dr Foster? Herein, lies a prime example of ‘quitting while ahead’! The first series, following Dr Foster’s discovery of her husband’s infidelity – and her ensuing reaction – was gripping and whilst, sometimes, a little far-fetched, mostly plausible. It had an ending; one which seemed fitting. Cue the hype which, in turn, prompted the greed and, bingo! A second series.
I have never been a fan of sequels, full stop. In terms of films, the great majority have supported my case. One which, immediately, leaps to mind is Crocodile Dundee II: the original film was an absolute gem; simple, original, hilarious and all without special effects, sex or four letter words! It stands alone but, sadly, money talks and Paul Hogan was persuaded to make a sequel. Enough said. Whilst I remain sad that Robin Williams is no longer with us, I am only thankful that the planned follow-up to Mrs Doubtfire can never be …
Where was I? Oh yes, the second series of Dr Foster: extremely dark, far-fetched and often boring – that is what I shall remember. Still, I suppose it lined the required pockets. Returning to my thread, however – the importance of one’s past – it became clear that, latterly, the writer’s focus was on the son and the traumatic effect his parents’ acrimonious split had had on him. Seemingly irrelevant, it had gone un-noticed. I am reminded of my favourite quote attributable to John Donne, ‘ No man is an island …’
Conscious of my word count, I shall try and be brief but I must cover my notes! Scribbled on one of my ‘post its’ is the name Niall Horan. Now, in the unlikely event that any of my ‘followers’ are high browed, he is a former member of One Direction. None the wiser? I have no shame in admitting I was a fan and continue to be so with regard to the solo ventures of Niall and Harry Styles – now this is exactly where I go wrong. Is anybody interested in the fact I like Niall and Harry’s music? Think of the word count! Anyway, I do have a penchant for Radio 2 and, in particular, Ken Bruce. That being so, I was listening to his slot The Tracks of My Years , last week, and the celebrity in question was Niall Horan. Suffice to say, I now understand why I like his music: he loves the Eagles! Niall grew up listening to his parents’ music of the seventies – Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel – and has embraced it. Respect. More to the point, Don Henley has become his ‘mentor’! I knew there was a reason he was my favourite. Once again, evidence of the inextricable link to the past.
My last scribble relates to the Channel 5 programme, In Therapy. Self-explanatory, it is gripping stuff. Last week’s celebrity under the spotlight was the comedian Bobby Davro and, as with most comedians, the laughter belies the sadness. Whilst, ostensibly, he focused on his divorce, Mandy Saligari took him back to his childhood and the root of his struggles. One of three, he had an older brother and a younger, adopted sister. Initially, he talks of a happy childhood and, particularly, his memories of days spent fishing in the lake at Wentworth golf course – on his own. His father used to drop him there before going to play golf with his older brother. Interestingly, Bobby had chosen to focus on his solitary fishing as happy times; an enforced happiness belying his true feelings of abandonment. His father had chosen to spend time with his brother, excluding him. The result? A child who believed himself inadequate; unworthy. The damage? Far reaching. A lasting impact on his life.
One’s childhood is with you for the rest of time. The lucky ones glean their strength from a happy childhood. I am so grateful to be one of them. For those not so blessed, I will leave you with a quote I heard on the television but half an hour ago …
‘Scars remind us where we’ve been. They don’t have to dictate where we’re going.’
Vikie Shanks (whose family is the subject of a Netflix documentary this coming Friday, ‘Kingdom of Us’).
James Blunt, we’re in this together!
This is Trish, signing off.