I was very sorry to read of the death of writer and humourist Michael Green, at the not inconsiderable age of 91 years. Born and brought up in Leicester, just a little earlier than our own Michael (Hollick), but only just. He wrote for the local newspapers and also found time to produce the series of ‘The Art of Course’ books. He also penned ‘The boy who shot down an airship’ and ‘Nobody hurt in small earthquake’. The latter being about his time spent seeking, and no doubt judiciously adding flavour to stories to fill the news columns. I certainly recognise the – don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story – approach to news gathering.

One section of ‘Course Drinking’, dealing with the effects of the demon drink, shows the outcome of said poison consumed at a social gathering:-

  1. Does every woman in the room look terribly attractive, except your own wife?
  2. Do you suddenly feel handsome, strong and good-looking?
  3. Alternatively do you suddenly feel bleary, bald and blotchy?
  4. Do you wish to participate in some feat of physical danger or daring?
  5. Do you suddenly love everyone?
  6. Do you suddenly hate everyone?
  7. Do you feel that you, and you alone, have discovered the secret of existence, hitherto denied to the human race?
  8. Do you feel that life is just wonderful (or alternatively, hideous)?
  9. Do you feel you could drink all night?
  10. Do you feel incredibly witty?

I cannot say that I have experienced the full topsy-turvy /Alice in Wonderland peculiarities as described above, but I have glimpsed it in others! No names, they all have better lawyers than I could afford.

When a close friend, relative or indeed someone whom we admire goes from us, it is a bitter-sweet feeling. It can be all too easy to forget to be grateful for having shared time or things of interest with them. Most of us, I suspect, see ourselves as being able to take an all embracing, wide view of the good and the not so good times. Or the toil and trouble/slings and arrows, as another scribbler from the Midlands once wrote.

But in truth we are annoyingly self-centred much of the time. This does not make us bad, but imperfect. I know that we could and should always be on the lookout for opportunities to attempt a little self-improvement whenever possible.

So I shall start tomorrow. Promise.