​‘You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away … ‘
Desperado, Eagles.

I understand.  Life is full of highs and lows but this is getting ridiculous!  Last week was not good.  Absolutely choked with something which cannot possibly be described as flippantly as a cold, I was not only deprived of sleep but single-handedly raised the share price of Andrex – somehow tissues have gone out of vogue in this house.  Coughing incessantly, Manny was up from London for a few days and I, seriously, resorted to wiping all handles and utensils down with Dettol wipes.  He seemed confident that he wouldn’t catch my ‘little cold‘ but it is early days for such smugness!

My week was already shrouded in gloom with the loss of David Cassidy still resonating but, somehow, it just continued on a downward slide.  Never liked November.  Friday, however, marked the beginning of December – it was the worst!  Suffice to say, I suggest the legal profession be the first to be replaced by robots.  Heart and soul not required.

Someone who knows too much about ‘lows’ is deservedly basking in a ‘high‘ right now: namely, Prince Harry.  I was in three minds as to whether or not I should broach the subject of the engagement – I ignored the other two, Becca and Manny!  Inevitable though it may have seemed, I was still surprised by the announcement.  Why?  Is it because Meghan is an American divorcee of mixed race?  An actress to boot?   I don’t think it has anything to do with Meghan, personally, but rather the glaring irony.

Eighty-one years ago, Prince Harry’s great, great uncle – Edward VIII – abdicated the throne for the love of Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee whom, as Head of the Church of England, he was forbidden to marry.  His brother was forced to take on the mantle of King thus changing the path of his descendants forever.  Harry’s grandmother was never destined to be Queen and Harry, one could argue, may never have been born as one can only assume that, free from the pressure to marry, Prince Charles may not have proposed to Lady Diana Spencer.  All these ‘what if’s but the upshot is that, in 1936, the twice divorced American, Wallis Simpson, changed the course of history.

I watched last Monday’s interview – yes, I know, that was a given – and it was obvious to the world how besotted they are.  A huge Harry fan, at last he has found somebody to love and look after him and I am so glad.  Never one to be told – like his mother before him – Harry was always going to push the boundaries.  The Royal Family is immersed in tradition, and hence the reason for my initial scepticism, but they say love conquers all and there is no doubting that Harry and Meghan’s feelings for each other are genuine.  As for the references to her mixed race heritage, I think those who have made the most noise are those who have been championing the engagement as some sort of victory because of her parentage rather than regardless of.  Interesting.

Human nature.  What can one say?  Becca enjoys watching it in glorious technicolour, courtesy of ‘I’m a Celebrity’, and it was she who alerted me to ‘Strawberrygate‘!  None the wiser?  Basically, two of the so-called celebs must take part in a task, each afternoon, with the purpose of winning snacks for their fellow campmates.  On one such occasion this past week, said two were successful, the campmates answered the ensuing question correctly, and the prize was strawberries and cream.  Unfortunately, those in camp do not know whether they have chosen the correct answer until their ‘friends‘ return with the bounty but that trust is a given – or is it?  All starving, one would assume that it was a case of one for all and all for one …  meet Iain Lee and Amir Khan!  They decided to eat the strawberries and cream and, leaving no trace, claim that the others had chosen the wrong answer.  No words.  I hadn’t seen it but Becca told me to watch the aftermath, which I did.  Like me, the campmates were disgusted and the silence spoke volumes.  For Iain and Amir the enjoyment had been fleeting; the damage lasting.  Supposedly, the guilt forced Iain to confess – followed by Amir – but those, such as Stanley, were sweetly generous of spirit.  It would appear life goes on but dig deeper.  Not one of them will forget and Iain Lee and Amir Khan have, unwittingly, written their own epitaphs – metaphorically speaking.

What kind of person is capable of such selfishness and deceit?  Personally, I need not look very far but one would hope that most of us, in a similar situation, would be worthy of team spirit and a degree of honesty and trust.  Genuine mistakes can be forgiven but those of a pre-meditated nature?  Perhaps forgiven but never forgotten.  Life is a stage and it is one’s interaction with one’s fellow human beings – nay, fellow creatures – which, in the end, defines each and every one of us; dictates the applause.

On the flip side, I found myself parked at Tesco in Canonmills this past week.  Not one of my usual haunts, it was freezing cold as I embarked on my trek to the entrance.  Just before, I noticed a well-dressed older gentleman walking towards me – cords, a smart v-neck jumper, folded newspaper in hand (sure it was The Telegraph) and his own hair!  It could have been Geoffrey Palmer or my beloved Pop (albeit with a wig!) but the best part was that he had seen me, too, and he smiled and said ‘Hello’.  In that instant, he restored my faith in human nature; he took me back to a time when manners were a given and he made my day!  Ask Manny.  Thank you, whoever you are.

I scribbled down a quote, yesterday, taken from one of those schmaltzy Christmas films which was on in the background in the kitchen.  Regular readers must think I am imprisoned there, chained to the island and forced to endure daytime television forever more.  Not so.  I am also partial to a bit of Ken Bruce and Radio 2!  Anyway, I leave you with the aforementioned quote which struck a cord.  Sometimes there is truth to be found even in schmaltz …

Listen to your heart.  When you stop listening, it stops making a noise.’
This is Trish, signing off.