It is no co-incidence that two of my favourite singers (I was going to write artists but that sounds too pompous) are Tom Odell and James Blunt. Lucky enough to see them, both, several times, both have made similar, self-deprecating comments about their ‘depressing’ songs – loved by millions and me, of course! My point being that this post should come with a warning: guaranteed not to lift the mood! It has been a horrible week! As though an epidemic of storms wasn’t enough to deal with, the news has mirrored the weather. It seems everything is a lie. What happened to Peter Phillips and his wife, Autumn? Never met them personally, obviously, but, like Zara and Mike Tindall, they seemed to have cracked it. Rock-solid, happy family … with their fingers crossed behind their backs! All one saw – yes, usually in ‘Hello’ – was photographs of the two young families delighting in each other’s company. Both living on Mummy’s estate, Gatcombe Park – a gift from the Queen – it was as though a modern-day version of The Waltons. I don’t know why I jest because it sounds pretty perfect to me. I would happily have offered myself up for adoption by the Waltons! That’s the thing, though, the public façade is deceptive; the fragile mask which hides the truth.
I warned you this was depressing. Seriously, it is as though we are all actors on the world stage. Struggling to learn our lines and make sense of it all, we are, each, playing a part and perhaps the most important role of all is that of The Prompt, there as back-up when we falter. Which brings me back to my old friend, Hugh – well, actually, his sidekick, ‘Marcus’ in About A Boy! As he comes to realise, ‘Everybody needs back-up’ and, in the words of Jon Bon Jovi, apparently – one of my favourite poets – ‘No man is an island’. That, I firmly believe and is very relevant to my life. Everything one does impacts on someone else and that awareness plays a huge part in one’s treatment of others.
Sadly, most pay no heed in this increasingly egocentric world and, this week, I was, once more, reminded that human nature is such that there are those for whom The Prompt can provide no solace, too intent are they on the path to self-destruction. Sadly, not an island, those connected to said person are innocent victims. The injustice of life.
Storm Ciara. Storm Dennis. Where is all this rain coming from? The wind? Mother Nature’s revenge? As six o’clock approaches and darkness returns, the wind howls, relentlessly, against the windows together with the driving rain and I am tempted to summon a bit of Tom Odell or James Blunt to lift the mood! Apparently, I am going to the cinema at 8 to see 1917 – well, that should do it! On the plus side, one can hope that Joe Public errs on the side of caution and stays at home. Now, where are my mask and anti-bacterial wipes?! Forgive me. I am going to watch a film depicting the heroism of WWI. Perspective.
All that glitters is not gold. Strangely, I was prompted to write the very same thing, last week, with regard to Phillip Schofield. It seems that nothing is as it seems. The news is filled with the tragic death of Caroline Flack who took her own life yesterday. Only 40 and, once, the golden girl of TV she, reportedly, dated Prince Harry! Pretty, vivacious and talented, where did it all go so wrong? How did she become so desperate? A lucrative career ensuring no money worries, popular, she appeared to have it all but a lasting relationship proved elusive. Cracks in the armour? Only last week, I watched the two-hour Whitney Houston biopic. Ironically, synonymous with that iconic song, The Greatest Love of All, she was damaged and filled with self-loathing. Sadly, I suspect the same could be said of Caroline.
That brings me on to Kate Middleton. Is it just me or is she visibly disappearing before our very eyes?! Always slim, she will, soon, be in danger of slipping between the cracks in the pavement! That said, she is deserving of respect having pulled out all the stops since Harry and Meghan jumped ship, denouncing duty in a quest for freedom, the luxury of free-loading in an £11million Vancouver Island mansion, private jets, lucrative ‘charity’ events and friendship groups including Beyoncé and Jay Z! Oh, Harry!
Back to Kate, though, and her launching of the nationwide online survey, 5 Big Questions. By gathering data apropos the early years, the aim is to highlight the correlation between childhood experiences and the social and health challenges faced by so many in later life. A life which, today, is a minefield with the erosion of the once stable family unit and the dominance of social media. Mental health issues abound manifested in anxiety, depression and self-harm all of which are fodder for the giant pharmaceutical companies but who, if any, endeavours to address the real cause? The wound beneath the surface. This is a positive move. Someone, at last, recognising the importance of a stable, secure background; the solid foundation necessary to build confidence and self-esteem. It is not rocket science but almost certainly requiring, now, of the ability to turn back time. Oh, for such a gift! Without it, I fear – in the words of Frazer in the classic, Dad’s Army – ‘We’re doomed!’ Watching Graham Norton on Friday, he introduced Sam Smith using the pronoun ‘their’ – apparently he identifies as neither male nor female! There is no hope. Pop! I can only imagine what you would have to say but, seemingly, all sense has gone – including that of the humorous kind. A world without laughter? Coming soon.
Meanwhile, the genius that is Billy Connolly will never be forgotten …
‘There’s no such thing as bad weather. There’s only the wrong clothes!’
This is Trish, signing off.
P.S. I did go and see 1917. Deserving of every accolade, the music of James Blunt or Tom Odell would have been too upbeat! Tissues in abundance. A magnificent film, the futility of war emanated from the screen; human nature at its most flawed – and at its most heroic. Sad thing is, Becca and I could think of few men, today, worthy of such courage …