Sunday, 12 May 2013

Ramblings, rants and Reggie

In a major break with tradition we actually went out for the evening yesterday. This is not a normal occurrence so despite having had the tickets since they went on sale at the end of last year, by the time the day finally rolled around I'd convinced myself I didn't really want to go. This is what I always end up doing. The prospect of anything outside my comfort zone sends me off into irrational fits of worry and angst and I've no idea how to stop this happening.
I never used to be like that though. When I was younger I wasn't fazed by anything; it was all an adventure to be experienced and enjoyed no matter how things turned out.
At 18 I thought nothing of getting in the car or on the bike and going up to Tyne & Wear for the weekend by myself to visit a friend who lived up there, including one memorable night in torrential rain one October riding my TZR250. The memory of stopping for petrol half way there, wringing the water out of my gloves and having to put them on again will haunt me forever along with almost needing to be lifted off the bike when I got there because my body had practically frozen into position.
But at the time I didn't care.
Tell me I need to go up there now and my first thoughts would be how to get out of it and if I couldn't then I'd be scouring the train and coach timetables in the hope of getting there without having to deal with the tedium and frustration of driving up the A1.
In November we'll be going to Motorcycle Live at the Birmingham NEC, but I'm only able to cope with the prospect of getting there because our tickets include coach travel from Cambridge. So then I just have to find a way of switching off that part of my brain that goes into panic mode when I'm in a crowd.
As it was, last night we had a really good time. It was the first time I'd been to see a stand-up comedian live which was an interesting change from seeing a band. The main act, Reginald D Hunter, was absolutely brilliant and the support act, Pete Johansson, a Canadian comedian who I'd never heard of had me in stitches - top bloke!
This is how it seems to work out these days. Something is arranged and seems a good idea at the time, as it nears I get fidgety about it, immediately before I don't want to do it, I force myself to do it, and then I'm glad I did it. I really need to fix this now so I only have the first and last steps because if I'm not careful it'll be another way that I've become like my dad and I'll never go anywhere.
This Friday we'll be going out again, but this time I'm really looking forward to it as we'll be visiting with people we thoroughly enjoy spending time with so my phase of worry and uncertainty won't happen at all. I think that for me this shows that spending time with family and friends is the most enjoyable and important bit of my life.
I enjoy being at home with its comforts and familiarity. Food, drink, music, movies, and pottering about in the shed tinkering with bikes and pouring another pint of homebrew. I'm a simple guy with simple needs - beer, bikes, and boobs - and although I sometimes wonder if I might be missing out on something, I'm basically happy doing what I do.
Now to some all this may sound a bit restrictive. I know there are plenty of people out there who would consider life without big adventures, foreign holidays and frequent new experiences to be a life not worth living at all, and they're entitled to their opinion. Everyone's different and it would be a very dull world if we weren't.
Some people are all about image and spend their time worrying about how they appear to other people, expending all their time and money ensuring they drive the right car, live in the right house, wear the right clothes and eat at the right restaurant. But that's OK, because it's fun for the rest of us to be able to take the piss out of shallow people with so little self esteem that they feel the need to surround themselves in shiny things in the mistaken belief that others will think "ooh, aren't they an inspiration", rather than "ooh, don't they look a twat".
As for me, I don't do foreign holidays (don't even have a passport), I don't do designer clothes (unless Florence & Fred counts), I don't have a flash car (we're all stuck in the same traffic jam), and if I eat out it's more important that it tastes good and fills me up than that it looks like a little bit of insubstantial art with a side of 'jus' (I don't want to have to go home and have another dinner immediately afterwards).
And most importantly I really couldn't give a toss what others think of me. Seriously, I just don't care. I don't do anything to make other people's lives unpleasant, I try to be helpful where I can, I try to think the best of people until they prove otherwise, and if someone has a problem with me it's their problem not mine.
Looking back through what I've written this morning I realise it's all a bit disjointed - just another case of me emptying my head of thoughts and writing them down - and it doesn't seem to have much direction. But frankly I don't care.

Father Jack Hackett and Victor Meldrew.
Characters of inspiration because they don't care about image either.