A seasoned look at life - September 20. 2012

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We had an amazing summer but, as stumps were drawn over the weekend at Blackpool Cricket Club for the last time this year and grass courts dissembled at Lytham Sports, the season is over.

There were other signs of autumn creeping in: at Edmonds Towers came instructions from She Who Knows to switch on wall radiators.

I started wearing a vest again, and, on telly, winter favourites Downton Abbey and Strictly Come Dancing returned.

What made summer go so fast was the Olympics, hot on the heels of the Diamond Jubilee.

What a success it all was!

We now have even more 
sporting celebrities in Britain, rapidly followed in winning style by Andy Murray.

Yet, English to the core and looking forward to the cosiness and colours of autumn, I still hold with the words of our favourite national poem, If, by Rudyard Kipling.

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same . . .

Yours is the Earth and 
everything that’s in it,

And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

With age and experience, those wise words resound more truly than ever.

However, as young men do, I once dreamed of fame and 
fortune; winning seemed all 
important.

Now I’m thankful just to take part; to assist others who 
struggle, and admire those who excel.

What’s more, while extra money is always welcome, I 
observe that fortune brings as many problems as pleasures and life’s real riches are free.

As for fame, well, who would want to be pointed and gawped at everywhere they went?

The nearest I got to celebrity was when my picture appeared alongside this column many years ago.

“Aren’t you that chap from the newspaper?” Asked a man with a dog as we drew level at a 
pedestrian crossing near work.

I confessed and the fellow, a no-nonsense, middle-aged sort, grunted: “Hmm, it’s not half bad, some of that stuff you write.”

Praise indeed! But I was saved from further public adulation as the lights changed and he and dog went on their way.

Now, in retirement, I’ve achieved an ambition to be a 
published author.

You can check this hasn’t gone to my head at my next book 
reading and signing event, a week today on Thursday, September 27, from 2pm at Knott End Library.

So, you see, there are still things to look forward to – even in autumn!

I hope to see you there

l Roy’s humorous memoirs and novels are available in stores or online. Visit royedmonds-blackpool.com for details; excerpts; exotic anecdotes, and his view of the Fylde.