It’s just another typical weekend where I enjoy spending my time wallowing in self-pity and bemoaning the structure of our couple-centric society. My loneliness helps create a vile bitterness that I try to harness and turn into a positive creativity, whether this works or not is for readers of my book and this blog to decide.
I definitely have a “glass half empty” outlook, but deep down – below the negative surface – I know how lucky I am compared to many other people. Once in a while, I am reminded of this in no uncertain terms and I find it to be quite humbling.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a birthday card and signed photograph from Jeremy Corbyn. The card was a little late in arriving, but I didn’t mind because someone I admire greatly had taken the time to send me his best wishes. I think this is a measure of the man as even though he must have a hectic schedule in trying to fight the Tories, he still found a minute to congratulate me on my 40th birthday.
Cerys Matthews has been a very important figure in my life.
In 1999, I had a car crash in Huddersfield while listening to Road Rage by Cerys’ band Catatonia. To read the full story of my accident in West Yorkshire, simply click here. Then in 2008, I went to watch Cerys, who was now a solo artist, perform a concert in Llangollen while my wife at the time went to Birmingham to meet an old friend.
It was a great concert and Cerys was absolutely sensational. I still have fond memories of that evening even though my ex-wife later admitted that she had been snogging the face off her old friend. It’s a pity she couldn’t see what me and Cerys had got up to in my dreams.
In 2010, I went to see Cerys perform again in Glyndwr University and was annoyed to find out that my sister had stayed behind and met Cerys while I rushed home to placate my newly employed Personal Assistant. I hope I will get the chance to meet her again soon.
Therefore, imagine my surprise and delight when I received a parcel from none other than Cerys Matthews that included two signed albums and a note apologising for the late arrival. I was overjoyed to receive this and I will treasure these gifts, from such a talented beauty, always.
However, the real star of the show is none other than my good friend Valerie Leney who organised my celebrity surprises. I am also going to watch Stoke City against Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium on April 8 thanks to Valerie contacting Eddie Niedzwiecki – former Wrexham goalkeeper and Stoke City coach – and encouraging him to mark my birthday with an unforgettable surprise.
I am lucky to have a friend like this. Valerie is such a special person that I am fortunate enough to have in my life. Indeed, the biggest achievement of my time at the University of Nottingham was not achieving a 2:1 in American Studies or spending a semester in the University of Illinois, but making such a close circle of friends that I am still in touch with. These people helped me to enjoy my 40th birthday celebrations and reunited especially for the occasion. This will no doubt serve as a constant reminder that when the chips are down, I can always rely on the bonds I created over 20 years ago…