In the recent past, I have been particularly inspired by a number of people, three of which I shall shout out here. First, and always foremost, is the woman who saves my life every single day. My soul partner Maggie keeps me alive – simple as that.
I was recently inspired by ex world champion boxer, Anthony Joshua. AJ, as I believe he is called, lost his titles, unexpectedly, in a bout with a chap by the name of Andy Ruiz Jnr. A last minute replacement for a supposedly more capable opponent, Ruiz startled the sporting world when he took all the spoils from overwhelming favourite for the bout, Joshua. One would have imagined recriminations and excuses by a man smarting from an unexpected reversal of fortunes. But no such thing. Anthony Joshua showed his class, his poise and his true champion colours, by respecting his opponent, his chosen craft, and of course, the result. Many, many young lives may be impacted by the attitude of AJ in defeat, and so they should be.
In recent weeks, on a more micro scale, my friend Mike El Capitano Cowley showed equally impressive character, demonstrating his own classy nature, by creating a teeny tiny small communication. One of Mike’s employees has completed his O Level (or their modern equivalent) exams. On hearing the results from his employee’s efforts, Mike put up a social media post, congratulating his young charge on his hard work and success. My friend did not need to complete this small act of kindness. Nor did he benefit from taking the time and effort to show his appreciation of the young man’s educational journey. Perhaps, some enlightened self interested benefit might arise from Mike’s act, maybe not, but that is not the point. As far as I understand it, Mike simply did a nice, thoughtful thing in a world of blunt, demotivating rigor – well done that man. Who knows how many other folk noticed this small communication. Who knows how many other folk will be inspired to enact their own selfless communication, thus making our world a little more civil.
Almost paying it forward, in a way, simply being a decent human being is inspiring to myself. Thank you Maggie for being you, thank you Anthony Joshua for showing the way, and thank you Mike El Capitano for being a jolly decent fella.
The pictures chosen for this blog post are not, in any way whatsoever, a complete list of important folk in my life. They are, however, a small sample of folk who have been unfortunate, in that they have been caught in the eye of my camera in the recent past. Other important individuals, as they say, are available…
Some of the images featured in this piece speak to modern tropes. Megan, one of my great nieces (they are all great, BTW, all the folk pictured here) can be seen above, at the tender age of seven, totally engaged with a communication device, technology, inordinately more powerful than the computer tech used when man first set foot on our moon.
Above, my awesome soul partner at one of our favourite garden venues.
I am constantly inspired by my children, as well as other relatives. Above, we have my nephew Robbie (Megan’s dad). Great parents make for great kids, and Robbie fits that bill just fine. Loving that awesome smile young man 👏.
Talking of my kids, here is an image of a unicycle. Clearly, my wife Maggie did not give birth to a one wheeled bike. However, Hirsute Son does not like me taking pictures of him, never mind publishing them, so I plumped for a random form of propulsion to represent our male offspring. Interesting fact: Unicycle Hockey is a bona fide sport ? Who knew…
I know, there is a trend developing.
So let’s have another one…
My mum is 84 years old. She has led a life. And she is still going.
This old lady is called Molly. The feet belong to David, Robbie’s dad, my brother in law.
And yes, we haven’t seen a photo of my soul partner for so long, here is another one.
My wife and I have grown two children, or should that be, two grown children? We are very proud of Hirsute Son (see uni wheeled pedal device above). We are equally proud of Daughter Number One. Our female offspring is, professionally speaking, a Forensic Speech Therapist, however, she scrapes a living modeling egg boxes partially filled with eggs, as can be viewed above.
So, herein this picture lies a tale. The very British scene above features my two sisters sorting stuff in my mum’s house. To be more precise, my gran’s council house of old, bought by my mum and dad under Thatcher’s Right to Buy scheme, back in the day, way back in the 1980s. Recently, the house has been lost * (*euphemism for sold). The sale allowed for self funding care* (*euphemism for national care crises). Said care was necessary due to difficulties* (*euphemism for life events one might reasonably expect our NHS/Social Services system to assist with). Note the tea – uber important. And the ubiquitous roll of tape – just because it was in the drawer, along with many other items my mum would rarely if ever use.
Here is my mate Ian. My colleague Ian keeps me sane and safe at work. He always has my back. During our terribly useful walking meetings, we always take time to chat to the locals.
You know who, being playful, at our favourite zoo venue.
The saddest of times – more sorting, a few tears, and an era ended. This is the house first occupied by my gran, my mum and my uncle Peter. Later occupied by my gran, my mum, and my dad. Later still, occupied by my gran, my mum, my dad, and one, two, then three kids. As noted above, in the recent past, the house has been lost, seemingly, in the blink of a dysfunctional societal eye. It sort of feels like we are going backwards? As my man Richard Dolan points out, it is plausible that future generations may look at a few decades of upward, socially liberal, democratic progress as a historical anomaly.
The above image features my two sisters and another of my awesome nephews. Andrew is a qualified architect, however, he scrapes a living modeling rusty old metal tool boxes containing rusty old tools.
People say I am the spitting image of my dad. My dad was ever such a good looking fella.
The Currant Mrs mn50images, my sister in law (Robbie’s mum), Megan, whom you have already met, and Megan’s sister Ellie. Super bright, happy, smiley people.
Featured in the above scene, my brother in law David (no, not my brother in law David of featured foot fame above – confusingly, I have two brothers in law called David). This David can be seen recreating the final moments before he left Blighty to beat up that Hitler fella, thus winning WW2 single handedly, and becoming the greatest Britain ever.
Cash and cards accepted – that moment when you realise your get rich quick rich scheme (all four family members for a pound) is not going to plan… 😒
I like this picture. Egg boxes partially filled with eggs modeler, Daughter Number One, lives with her awesome partner near the truly bucolic New Forest. Above we see mum and daughter posing in said forest. Interesting fact: the New Forest is really not that new at all, but does contain the most magnificent array of free roaming ponies.
Talking of our daughter’s partner, here he is, shown, inspired by his partner to be yet more successful in a new career, practicing egg boxes partially filled with eggs modeling. There are any number of things I like about Russell: including his sense of humour, his cool tats, his laid back temperament, and much, much else.
My lover, my friend, my confidant, my everything…
Some time ago now (‘Where does the time go?’ I know, but legally one has to use that phrase when putting up an oldish photo of a child), Auntie Laura and Ellie enjoying the best of summer.
Above, the youngest of my two awesome sisters. My sister and my mum are shocked but not physically hurt after being robbed at a cash point machine. At time of going to press, admittedly, in the first few aftermath days following this event, there is a feeling in the family that authorities appear unable, unwilling or unhurried in solving the crime. The times we are in feel despairing, #broken Britain – for some, in some places…
So there it is, This Time it is Personal: a random flick through the family and friend connection images I have immediately to hand. Through all the vicissitudes of modern life, my one constant is the lady featured above. I started this piece by explaining how my soul partner saved my life every single day. That is as true this moment, the day I publish this piece, as it was thirty three years ago when we first married. I didn’t know it/understand it fully back then, but I do now. You can call me a little obsessed if you want. Smitten, still. Call me crazy, beguiled, besotted and bewitched (I know how to use a thesaurus 😁). Call me all of those things, and I will shrug my shoulders, and tell you that those things are indeed true.
The world absolutely needs the likes of my wife, my mates Ian and Mike El Capitano Cowley, in addition to more well known celebrities such as Anthony Joshua. In my very humble opinion, these kinds of folks keep the rest of us from despairing just that little bit too much when the shit, inevitably, hits the fan.
As always, please SHARE this blog to friends if you find it of interest, of note or of any use at all. You can LIKE this blog, and make me feel happy as Larry (not Larry the Downing Street cat of course – he is well pissed off now a new puppy has arrived to steal his limelight). You can FOLLOW me of course – always happy to have another reader on board. And COMMENT if you feel moved to do so. Otherwise, please share the love with each other, because that is just about all we can do in these troubled times. Share the love, and as my mate Ian keeps telling me, keep on smiling.