I missed reading over my column last Thursday, as I was out celebrating St George’s Day on Lytham Green and forgot to buy a paper.
Still, I saw online that the piece – a tribute to that other English icon, Shakespeare – appeared all right.
“Where do you get your ideas from for columns?” someone asked while we were dining out.
“Well, everyday life,” I replied, adding, “perhaps I’ll write about this ‘do’.” (I didn’t, though serving 250 people in a tent with hot fish and chips deserves a mention).
However, it is people and their ups and downs who inspire a writer; their unpredictable human touch makes life fascinating.
So, today, I’ll celebrate my own tributes or, rather, those occasional encouragements from readers.
My proudest moment came when interviewed for the Fylde’s Newspaper for the Blind, then learning my column was a favourite with listeners. Nowadays my doughty mother-in-law gets those news round-up cassettes, so I better be careful what I say.
Thankfully, the public always keep us columnists in check. “Aren’t you that bloke from the newspaper?” a chap walking his dog said to me on Preston New Road. I confessed, then received a heartening Lancashire complement. “Hmm, it’s not bad, some of that stuff you write.”
He moved on when the lights changed but we kept in touch. I was one of the first to be informed, when his dog ‘Lucky’ died.
Another colleague was recognised while queueing for a Chinese takeaway. “I’ve seen you in the newspaper,” the manageress observed, making him rather proud, then concluded, “You are much older than your picture.” They build you up only to knock you down – often unwittingly.
“I always read your column,” announced a cheery gent down my local, adding in farewell, “Never miss it – every Monday!
* For Roy’s books, visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.