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Happy Birthday

Today, I’m going to be
uncompromisingly upbeat.

It’s not that most of the time
I’m unremittingly downbeat -I usually have quite a sunny disposition – but a number
of recent Rants have had a rather sombre, or at least curmudgeonly, tone.  Or so I’m told by a reader, and the reader,
like the customer, is always right.

So on this rather chilly and dreary
(sorry, brisk and pleasantly moist) May morning, I’m going to offer nothing but
good news, which we know from the old saw is actually no news. 

The headline is that I’m alive
and well.  I woke up this morning fighting
fit, ready to take on any challenge that the day might bring. I’d slept like a
log, as usual, undisturbed by any of the aches and pains many of my friends frequently
complain about. 

My wife Martha, emerging dripping
from the shower, presented as lovely a vision as it’s possible to imagine
without turning to a porn site, and tonight we are having dinner with our
beautiful and very bright daughter Sara and her husband George.  And at the risk of charges that I’ve taken
leave of my senses, I shall even compliment George, whose 33rd birthday we’ll
be celebrating. 

Yesterday, he and I spent a very pleasant
day together at Lord’s, where even the sight of England batting as if they’d been
taught how to only last week didn’t seem to matter.  The sun shone for long periods and the predicted
showers held off.  Black clouds constantly
passed overhead in waves, apparently destined to dump their loads somewhere
else – like Luftwaffe squadrons spotted over England’s south coast, obviously heading
for more important targets – but hardly a drop fell on the sacred turf.

Next week M and I are off to the
south of France for nine
days, with a two-day side excursion to Barcelona,
an interesting city I haven’t visited for many years – actually since Franco
ruled Spain.  I’m looking forward to the whole trip.  I know the sun will shine, sans interruption, the entire time.

Next Monday, as happens every
year at the time, I have a birthday of my own. 
At my age that’s an occasion for a real celebration, though since we
have to be on the road early the next morning, we’ll probably celebrate sitting
in front of the telly eating cheese and biscuits.  That will suit me just fine after a week of
providing evening meals to a pair of young Australian house guests who eat as
if they’ve been lost in the bush for two years living on nothing but dingo

Today, meanwhile, I’ve been
invited to lunch with an associate in a business in which I’ve invested.  I think he’s going to tell me that the
company is in danger of falling apart.  Am
I disheartened?  Not a bit of it.  I’m going to tell him in no uncertain terms to
get a grip and crack the whip; in short, do whatever is required to turn things
around in a hurry.  There’s no problem
here, I’ll tell him, only a challenge.

See, there you are.  There’s no limit to my confidence in the
power of positive thinking. 

This afternoon, just to reinforce
my new-found ebullience, perhaps I’ll watch The
Sound of Music,
and sing along with Julie. 
Anyone who has the moxie to leave a nunnery to marry curly-lipped Christopher
Plummer, beat off competition from a rival who offers nothing but beauty and
wealth, become mother to his seven (or is it seventeen?) loathsome, endlessly-warbling
brats, and then escape the Nazis hiking across the Alps, commands my unbridled admiration    

On second thoughts, maybe this
good news lark is not for me. 

And, bloody Hell, now it’s
raining ….


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