There was a time when I always had at least two books on the go and had to have a few lined up so that I’d never be without.
This was a habit that was with me from very early childhood up to about ten years ago ~ and at that point I was addicted to Audio Books so got my literary fix. In recent times, for reasons I’m not too clear about, both real books and audio books have slipped off the locker by my bed and it’s something I have come to regret hugely.
Reading is an addiction; there’s no doubt about that and I intend to get hooked again. I know that when I lost the sight in one of my eyes for a few months in 2003-4, I thought it was the end of the world and couldn’t imagine a life without reading. So how on earth have I slipped into this non-bookish phase?
Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I’m glad to report that books are back. I made my way to the library ~ just like I did every Saturday when I was a kid ~ and rummaged around looking for books that tickled my imagination. There were many as a child and there were hundreds and hundreds today.
I had a browse in the literature section and scolded myself about all the great works that I’ve never read. But, this return to reading isn’t about beating myself up; it’s about getting back into the enjoyment of reading.
The book that I simply had to borrow and that I’ve gobbled up in the last few hours is one that made me laugh out loud as I was getting the tea ready.
For those of you who have never heard of Terry Wogan, he was an Irish man who had a glowing career on radio and television in Britain.
My real introduction to him came in October 1974 when I used to get a lift from Drogheda to Dublin early on Monday mornings during my first year at university. Terry would be on the radio and I fell in love with his voice, laugh, wit and sense of fun. I wanted those journeys to go on forever!
Here’s a few of his quotable quotes that had me pondering, chuckling and half swooning as I raced through the book:
Beauty, physical attraction, eyesight, knees, hair, all fade with time. Only kindness matters …
The most popular person at a party is the listener – particularly at an Irish party.
Talk only if you must. Keep it short and to the point. You don’t want people to think you’re a politician. Nobody wants a conversation in a lift, on the Tube, on a bus, on a plane, at the top of a back-swing, reading or writing, or when your mouth’s full – button it. Pretend you’re meeting with the Queen; speak only when spoken to…
Never sent a tweet in my life.
(Are you listening, Donald?)
If you wish to infuriate your friendly neighbourhood Irishman, call him ‘Paddy’ and describe his conversation as ‘Blarney.’ Only numpties and tourists hang by their ankles to kiss the Blarney Stone, a lump of a rock in an Irish castle, liberally covered in saliva and lipstick.
If you’re a success, never forget how much of it you owe to luck. I remarked on this to a captain of industry, who was affronted at the idea, He thought it was all due to him. It’s a game of chance. and if the chips fall your way, pick them up and count them. Along with your blessings …
And finally, this one, with the accompanying cartoon:
Nobody’s good at everything – you could be a late developer. I’ll bet Albert Einstein never got a birdie in his life …
Ah yes, I’m back to books. Thanks Terry!
Details: Terry Wogan (2014) The Little Book of Common Sense …or Pause for Thought with Wogan, London: Orion Books.