So, time for another bloghop. It has been a few months since I've taken part in one, and, admittedly, I only stumbled upon this one this morning. However, I loved the idea and couldn't wait to get involved! Hosted by Kyra Lennon and Clare Dugmore, the Bloghop of Joy is all about listing five simple things that bring a whole heap of joy. You'd imagine, those of you who know me well, that this would be simple and predictable, so I will avoid the obvious candidates of curry, beer and Arsenal picking up three points at the weekend.
Here goes, in no particular order of joyfulness...
1. Being out and about in the van.
As a man who owns a VW Camper it would be predictable and pointless for me to list camping, but one of my absolute pleasures is simply being out with the family in the van. OK, so it does turn me into something of a Sunday driver, but rolling the van towards the coast, even when it is overcast, windy and cold is a short, sharp blast of escapism. It helps me to unwind and, for a while, forget the stresses of work. Basically, it is about being somewhere, anywhere which isn't home.
2. Waking up and thinking it is Friday...the realising it is Saturday!
We all know about this feeling of joy, so I won't go on to explain it. Pure, unadulterated, duvet hugging bliss!
Nope, not the majestic animal of the Scottish highlands. While I admire the creature for its power and beauty, I do, of course, refer to the celebration of those last few days of un-married bliss. There really is nothing quite like a good stag - boys being boys, drinking far too much, eating all the wrong things, telling dirty jokes and not being entirely sure what is actually going on. The Stag is a male institution. I have been lucky enough to have been a Best Man, or more importantly, Stag Co-ordinator on two occasions and I have survived stags in a number of cities around England. I have almost drowned in the Mersey while lost in Liverpool, seen the most hilarious cat-fight in a Blackpool gay bar and spent an entire weekend in the same punk outfit pretending to be Johnny Rotten at Butlins. The stag weekend always leaves a million wonderful memories in the company of the very finest gentlemen. Here is a video I made in anticipation of a Stag do in Nottingham.
4. Old photographs.
I could spend endless hours sorting through old photos. My Mum has box upon box of pictures, all of which carry a treasured memory. Even the photos which were taken before I was born transport me back to the time I first saw them. I've chosen to share this particular picture - it includes some of my very best friends on a day which is special to all of us. Once upon a time, our football club, Rec Rovers, won the cup. OK, it was hardly the FA Cup, and the ground was certainly not Wembley, but believe me, it meant that much to us. The picture captures the pure joy of that moment. A year before that moment, we had been sat in the Prince of Wales simply slurring over our pints about forming a club. A year on, we had won promotion and had won the cup. Oh, and the first kiss with my wonderful wife to be also took place in the ensuing celebrations in, as if you couldn't guess, the Prince of Wales!
5. Robin of Sherwood.
It had to happen, didn't it? A list of five things which bring me joy wouldn't be right without tilting my cap to my favourite ever TV show. Robin of Sherwood, an 80s adaptation of the Robin Hood legend. It is a magical marriage of mysticism and music - it re-told the old yarns with a new outlook. Gone were the Lincoln green tights and immaculately turned out merry men. In their place was a more brutal portrayal of the time. The fight scenes took place without guffawing laughter and focused on the often contorted expressions of the now legendary Ray Winstone. Gone was the upbeat jig of 'Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen', and in came the ethereal tones of the much maligned Irish band, Clannad. This new twist of the legend, with its young cast, hard hitting fight scenes, forest dwelling deities and emotive music has influenced every take on the story since. Yes, it is a guilty pleasure, but it is pure viewing joy.
|Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet. Menacing. Good, healthy 80s kids TV.|