Don’t sweat the small stuff

With a big birthday on the horizon I notice that I’ve become ambivalent to things that only a few years ago would have made my blood boil.

While that’s good news for my doctor as at one point last year my blood pressure was so high he described me as a stroke waiting to happen (a stroke on legs was the actual term used) and I had to take readings twice a day and inform the surgery, the not so much zen calm as couldn’t give a damn about some things is a bit concerning considering I still find myself getting wound up over things that don’t matter.

But I recognise it and I am working on it

It’s only ever been a case of howling at the moon, but I thought age would bring with it at least a calm resignation.

It hasn’t.

Instead of perspective, a sense of cynicism has taken root where passionate outrage used to be and the red mist is descending over ridiculous, inconsequential things like my phone’s bluetooth connection with the car playing up, the hoover not sucking properly, idiots that shouldn’t be near anything sharper than sponge or allowed out on their own appearing on TV quiz shows or news vox pops, the new Jethro Tull album (it’s NOT!)…

Meanwhile, I look at the things that are really wrong in the world from the way the people of Afghanistan were abandoned to their fate and how the same will almost certainly happen in Ukraine, quite possibly before the week is out, to the manipulation of news by national media to influence rather than inform, the constant attempt by police forces to manage the flow of information to local press, and in turn the public they are supposed to be serving, under the pretence of “policy”, along with an obsession to protect the reputation of the institution above all else.

All of it is fixable (apart from the new Tull album – that’s just not realistic) but none of it will be because the people in positions of bringing about such change won’t. It doesn’t suit their purpose.

So with that hopelessness all pervading, my anger, venom and frustration is aimed instead towards inanimate objects and the inconsequential.

I am THE grumpy old man.


I wonder how many Premier League clubs would respond to one of its players being seen on social media kicking and slapping a cat in the same way that West Ham United has – a two week fine and “help”.

I wonder how many players – the ones not considered to be £30million assets that is – would have still found themselves in the team if they had carried out such a despicable act.

But for Kurt Zouma’s sudden “illness” during the team’s warm up at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, he would have been playing for the second time in a week since the clip was posted.

Meanwhile, his brother, Yoan, who filmed the incident and is worth nowhere near £30m, has been suspended by his club Dagenham & Redbridge until an RSPCA investigation concludes.


Stupid TV quiz answers of the week

Tipping point really is the gift that keeps on giving:

Q: Which Middle Eastern country has a coastline on the Mediterranean and the Red Sea?

A: Kenya

Q: Which American author wrote Of Mice And Men?

A: Leo Tolstoy

Q: In the NATO phonetic alphabet (another phonetic alphabet question) what comes between Juliet and Lima?

A: Bravo

Q: On a standard clock face what is directly opposite two?

A: Seven

And an extra special mention to the dumbo on Friday who thought Agatha Christie (or as he pronounced it, Agaffa) used to be deputy leader of the Labour Party.


Edward Case