Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3 …  Wonder why that came into my head?  Ian Dury & the Blockheads, 1979.  More to the point, whatever happened to Parts 1& 2?  Let’s face it, there are few enough reasons for Part 1, alone!  Struggling to muster the enthusiasm, here, thanks – in some measure – to Wimbledon.  Not that there’s a great deal of play taking place, what with the incessant showers and the lunacy of the Just Stop Oil protestors – a timely reminder of our woke world; a world in which old men see fit to run onto a tennis court distributing bagfuls of orange paper bits and jigsaw pieces while endeavouring to remove their outer attire in a bid to reveal their cause.  Humiliating in the extreme.  What possesses them?  To be honest, none of them look the full shilling and most definitely appear old enough to know better.  The latest, dragged from Court 18 – again- what is their punishment?  Nothing a cell wouldn’t cure, perhaps!  It does make somewhat of a mockery of the Championships’ security, given that this country is, apparently, on high alert for the next couple of weeks.  Good job Meghan and Harry aren’t here!

Drivel.  I really have let this slide, of late, and am finding it increasingly difficult to focus in the absence of routine.  Rome put paid to that.  Becca, too, is now back for a few weeks and that, certainly, doesn’t help!  Mind you, I am allowing myself something of a pat on the back given that Part One of the future bestseller is done and dusted.  Yes!  En route to 46,000 words, it has become my focus – finally.  At times, hard re-living the past, I have, nonetheless, learnt so much about myself.  Never expected that.  Anyway, enough of the excuses, back to the reasons to be cheerful … or lack of!

Wimbledon has forever been one of the year’s highlights for me and I have written about it many times before.  The excitement of watching it on television, as a child, ensured a thrill all the greater when we first secured tickets – for the Men’s Quarter Finals – in 2012.  In the years which followed, we did it all, revelling in the atmosphere and innate elegance of SW19.  When we didn’t have tickets, we were happy to join the throngs on Henman Hill, always on the second week and, routinely, from Tuesday to Friday.  Not this year and it looks, increasingly, as though we made the right decision.  The first year without Sue Barker, the BBC coverage is amateur in the least.  It seems her recognised replacement – Clare Balding – is only contracted from 4pm onwards while the morning shift belongs to Isa Guha.  Exactly!  The most prestigious tennis tournament in the world and they cannot find a tennis player turned broadcaster for the job.  Nope.  Instead, Clare Balding – she of the horse racing fraternity and clearly a late riser – doesn’t pitch up until 4pm, while Isa Guha – a British cricket commentator and former England cricketer – switches balls for the early shift!  It doesn’t work.  As for the pink towels …  I watched Djokovic, yesterday, carrying his own white towel onto Centre Court.  Triumphant, the pink towel could be seen – folded and unused – amongst a pile of towels as he left.  One can take a horse to water but one can’t make it drink!

I used to think/hope Wimbledon would be immune to woke but it seems the poison has even infiltrated one of the last bastions of tradition.  How sad …  None of us were successful in the ballot, this year, not that that would normally deter.  However, increasingly corporate, it means the real tennis fans are increasingly without tickets and, thus, to be found on Henman Hill.  Last year, the Hill was packed – and cordoned off – forcing us to remain in the Pergola Bar drinking champagne!  We saw no tennis and vowed, with changing times, it was impossible without tickets.  A good decision, methinks, in a year which also marks a changing of the guard, player-wise.  Federer is retired, Nadal injured and Andy Murray gained entry on a wild card!  Thank goodness for Djokovic.  Meanwhile, there is also the question of that ridiculous poster which placed upcoming players Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz in the forefront followed by the famous four – sorry, three – with legends of the sport, Borg and McEnroe, behind.  Oh, and the women …  Provocative or what?  The women aside – still believe it ridiculous that they receive equal prize money to the men being that they only play the best of three sets – the absence of Murray is an absolute travesty!  Two-times Wimbledon winner, it took seventy-seven years to procure a Brit in the wake of Fred Perry.  He is a sporting hero and each and every one of those other three players – Federer, Nadal and Djokovic – would credit him with his place amongst them.  On paper?  Utterly irrelevant.  Makes me so angry!  While Andy Murray may have won only three Slams, our memories of his five-setters over the years stand alone.  The ultimate fighter, his courage, dedication and prowess – coupled with his engaging humility – have ensured his place in the hearts of the nation.  Three Grand Slams, maybe, but who gave us the most?  There is no possible excuse for omitting him from any such Wimbledon poster.  I can only shake my head.  Sir Andy Murray, we salute you!  Thinking about it, though, ‘on paper’ tells one nothing about the person.  The same can be said of a C.V.  That’s what we are reduced to now, however: results on a screen.  So much to be grateful for?  Rather, so much to fear.  It is no accident that we are developing robots to replace ourselves …

I am British.  Once, there was honour in that claim …  Now, no-one is surprised to learn that the imbecile, caught on camera, carving the initials of he and his girlfriend into the walls of Colosseum is of our shores.  So much to be proud of …  A pride once embodied by Captain Sir Tom Moore; he, who rallied the spirit of wartime Britain during the madness of the pandemic.  He, who represented a Britain once ‘Great’.  His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore and her family – with whom the war veteran lived – were pivotal in setting up the Captain Tom Foundation, a charity in his name supporting the causes close to his heart.  Who would have believed it possible, then, that, following her father’s death in 2021 at the age of one hundred, his beloved younger daughter would be accused of misappropriating the Charity’s funds for the personal gain of her family?  She has recently been instructed to pull down the spa in her garden secured, deceitfully, by using the name of her late father’s charity on the planning application.  Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part NONE!

There is no Great Britain any more.  National pride is consigned to the few remaining with morals and standards; obsolete qualities no longer required and, in truth, a hindrance; worse, a disadvantage!  Unusually, I happened to be watching the BBC Ten O’Clock News the other night when, on the subject of the Captain Tom Moore Foundation, the newsreader cut to the correspondent, Chi Chi Izundu, for further information.  ‘Another great British hope,’ as Pop used to joke of our Black British athletes.  He wasn’t racist!  Had he been, he would never have said such a thing.  Rather, it was purely an observation made with humour.  Humour?  Anybody remember that?!  Of course, such a remark would be deemed entirely inappropriate today – as would the Dame Edna comment I added to my Instagram Stories recently.  The butt of ‘her’ joke happened to be a black woman but she could just have easily been white.  That was then, this is now.  Today, the colour of one’s skin is pivotal; all that matters.  Take Chi Chi Izundu’s chosen attire …  She was wearing faded jeans – might even have been fashionably ripped – and a little jacket.  I have never seen a journalist in such casual attire!  Once upon a time, they spoke the Queen’s English; men wore suits while ladies dressed smartly – and appropriately.  There was a pride in one’s elocution – and in one’s appearance.  No more.  As a BBC correspondent, Chi Chi Izundu chose to wear faded jeans, devoid of respect.  She can.  She is black.  Any criticism would, after all, be racist …

Should I be worried about my bank accounts – the potential closing of?  It is the next step, after all, as warned by Nigel Farage this week as he grapples the curtailing of his very existence in the face of free speech and his political stance.  While, once, such frightening tales would be consigned to the conspiracy pile, today, the threat is more than real.  All too soon, cash will no longer be a viable currency, our lives becoming wholly digital; our existence marked only by our online presence.  As in communist China, our every move monitored, the Social Credit System will slowly take hold rendering state control complete.  All freedom gone.  Mere pawns in the game.  Most will be none the wiser, already bereft of the ability to think.  Those of us who have remained immune to the brainwashing, however?  As Pop always said, ‘There is a plan for every man’ … that and ‘We fight on!’.  Oh, well, reasons to be cheerful?  The end of this post, for one!

When the people are scared of the politicians, that’s tyranny.  When the politicians are scared of the people, that’s democracy.’

Andrew Bridgen, MP, quoting, in the EU Parliament, 4th July, 2023.

This is Trish, signing off.