Monday, January 11, 2010

Cider with Roadies

In the past I have had some ups and downs in my life.  Nothing surprising there, and it'd probably be more surprising if I hadn't, but every now and then something I read, or see, or hear, or smell, or taste sparks a memory, buried not too deeply, which elicits a automatic emotional response which might put a huge smile on my face, or make me laugh out loud, or make me smile inwardly, or cause me to wince, or make me go very quiet for a while, or make me sad, or make me burst into tears which last for only seconds.

Having previously read and thoroughly enjoyed two of his books I am currently reading what is pretty much an autobiography by Stuart Maconie, who can currently be heard as one half of the presenting team on a very good BBC Radio 2 evening show, and that book's rather wittily called Cider with Roadies.

I was lying in the bath while reading the book earlier this evening, warming myself after having been out for a bit of a run wearing shorts in the slowly melting snow, when one eight word phrase leapt off the page and in an instant had travelled through my eyes, passed into my brain, invaded my subconscious, and emerged again from those same eyes in the form of tears.

That eight word phrase is on page 168 (of the paperback edition anyway) and refers to his friend Jem having suddenly and unexpectedly taken his own life after losing his job, having marital problems, and being unsuccessful in achieving his ambitions.

That eight word phrase consists of the words

Crushed by the endless small defeats of life ........

Now I have never ever been anywhere near the psychological place which might have made me even remotely consider taking my own life, or even harming myself in any way shape or form, but Jem's problems struck a chord with me as they are not entirely dissimilar to some things which may have happened in my life, and that eight word phrase used by Stuart Maconie seemed to chime out to me and sum up a lot of how I used to feel a while ago.  I only wish I'd thought of it first!

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