Feeling positive????  Are you kidding me?  It’s practically dark here, my back is killing me from so much sitting and writing, the world is in free-fall and human beings are horrible!!  Anything else?  Oh, Beyoncé rocks, thank God!’

My message of reply to a friend – of the very good kind – this morning.  Just thought I would share.  Who wouldn’t like a friend like me, always looking on the bright side!  One thing, though, I am nothing if not honest …  Thankfully, as I prepare to go to the beach – for therapeutic reasons – the sun has finally come out.  Hallelujah!  I was beginning to feel as though I had volunteered for Mars in my sleep.  Sorry?  Weightless?  Got me there but, in all seriousness, it is the end of May and it has been dark for days!  I might add that the weather is atrocious in Rome: thunderstorms and torrential rain while really muggy.  The worst.  I hope to God things have changed come the beginning of June – somehow, the romance of seeing and listening to Andrea Bocelli in the Baths of Caracalla would be more than a little dimmed by a Wimbledon umbrella, certainly for the person sitting behind me!

Yes, there’s nothing like setting the tone and I suppose my regular readers are, by now, forearmed/forewarned depending on the introductory drivel.  Rejoice in the knowledge that I am unable to sit down for long without the very real threat of enforced inertia, a prospect to be avoided at all costs.  Thus, until I master the art of typing standing up – or have the means to employ a lackey – I have little choice but to be brief.  I might add, however, that I write of my kind of brief which may not be yours.  Reminds me of ‘all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order’!  The wonderful Morecambe & Wise.  I, actually, heard Bring Me Sunshine on Tracks of My Years today.  Yes, I was listening to Vernon.  Turncoat?  God forbid!  In my defence, I cannot get Greatest Hits Radio on my radio.  Anyway, I digress …  Suffice to say, I’m never quite sure whether that song – Bring Me Sunshine, concentrate – is going to make me smile or cry.  Usually, a bit of both.  Synonymous with my childhood and Pop, it sums it all up, really.  So simple, so upbeat and, yet, so poignant.  Life’s wishes in a song.  Sadly, one written in a gentler time.  Definitely in my Top Ten, too.  Guess the other nine – anyone other than Manny!

Holly Willoughby.  So sweet and innocent …  Never bought it.  In fact, I never liked her from day one.  Just something about her.  In fact, she can be summed up in four letters: fake.  Of course, it is Phillip Schofield who is the media fodder now, axed from This Morning after twenty-one years with immediate effect, while holier than thou Holly’s every wish is pandered to.  What Holly wants, Holly gets, apparently, after all, she is – for now – the golden goose.  How fickle is the tide?   For, let’s remember, she would be nothing without her ‘friend’; the one who fought for her – the only one – to join him on the sofa in 2009; the one who carried her with him, mentoring her while she fed from his knowledge and experience; the ‘friend’ with whom she holidayed, who, along with his own family, became part of hers … the same one she has just stabbed in the front!

Holly Willoughby, the ambitious, egocentric narcissist; a monster of Phil’s own creation.  The ‘friend’ who never was; the ‘friend’ who used then discarded.  She is everything I abhor and, by all accounts, an absolute diva – albeit, a multi-million-pound diva!  Loyalty was never in her vocabulary but perhaps that quality is particular to those of more than two dimensions …  I happened to catch journalist Amanda Platell on To the Point (GB News) with Andrew and Bev this morning.  I found myself applauding her out loud as she talked about friendship in relation to Holly and Phil, emphasising the definition and importance of loyalty.  In good times and bad; through thick and thin.  Not, let me distance myself from you now or you might tarnish my brand! A brand.  At the end of the day, that’s all she is while Phillip Schofield … well, he’s Phillip Schofield!  Quite simply, I – like millions – grew up with him and he is a huge part of my nostalgia.  There is an innate loyalty and I don’t even know him.  We did, actually, meet him in the late 90s when he was in Doctor Doolittle.  He was having dinner between shows in Juliano’s, across the road from the Playhouse in Edinburgh.  The children disappeared to the back of the restaurant and were to be found at his table, interrupting his meal – yes, they say the apple never falls far from the tree …  He was lovely, though, and, as we dragged the minions away, he agreed to stop at our table on his way out.  True to his word, he did exactly that and signed autographs for the whole table.  I have never forgotten that, nor his kindness.

Not one for Twitter – Manny vetoed that suggesting I may invite death threats, of all things – I am, nevertheless, aware that there are all sorts of sordid rumours flying around.  Perhaps my loyalty will prove misplaced but, for now, I see a man who has been kicked while he is down; nay, positively jumped on in a bid to destroy – by his ‘friend’; the monster he, himself, created.  His brother was jailed for twelve years on Friday, the same day on which he was fired.  Talk about needing your friends; real friends.  I’m sure he has some.  For now, he is with his mother in Cornwall who, too, must be struggling.  As for Ms Willoughby …  I should imagine her friends are all as fake as her.  Has she won ‘the war’?  Protected her brand?  Perhaps, but at what cost?

Et tu, Brute?’

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar.

Out of interest – or, merely to confirm my opinion – I listened to Holly on Fearne Cotton’s podcast, Happy Place, while on a walk on Saturday.  I have never heard such egotistical drivel.  Between them, they managed to talk about nothing for what seemed like an eternity.  Shallow.  The very definition of boring.  That is one hour of my life I can never get back.   Just grateful that I wasn’t at the Beyoncé concert at Murrayfield that evening or I really would be in deficit figures!  Mind you, Beyoncé has reached echelons of which even Holly can only dream …  Waiting on the platform at Leuchars last week, there came an announcement over the tannoy apropos her upcoming concert and at which station to alight.  2023.  So much to be grateful for!

Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls;
Conscience is but a work that cowards use,
Devised at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law!’

Shakespeare, Richard III.

This is Trish, signing off, once more A Voice Outwith the Crowd, I fear …