One big boy hug coming right up

I always used to joke to my children when they were growing up that there would never come a day when they were too old to to give their dad a hug.

My eldest is now 34 and although we message every couple of days and speak on Zoom, I’ve seen him in person just once, in a service station at the required social distance, since the pandemic kicked in.

That has been very difficult for both of us.

I’ve been able to see most of the other kids a couple of times more than that, but nowhere near enough.

Of course, there’s nothing unique about that situation – my girlfriend hasn’t been able to see her elderly parents properly or her new grandson – but after a year of seeing selfish idiots ignore COVID restrictions, putting the rest of us at risk for the sake of an hour or so of sun and sand, the days are coming when those of us who have adhered to the rules can finally be together again with our families and resume our lives.

So, on Thursday, at long last, with the next stage in the lifting of lockdown, I will be driving to Letchworth in Herts to claim my first big boy hug in more than 16 months. A fry up may be involved because some things are more important than diabetes and blood pressure.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Next up will be a 120-mile trek to Worcester and the stepdaughter and two grandkids I haven’t seen in person since Christmas 2019. I expect there will either be a convoy up the M6 or a fight for the remaining seats in my car.

So Indian variant, you can just go and do one.

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As a neutral watching this year’s FA Cup final, it was so refreshing to see the silverware go to one of the real top six clubs in the country, whose owners are loved by their fans and players alike.

Leicester City’s Thai owner Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn and his late father, who tragically perished in a helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium two years ago, have done so much, not only for the club, but for the community as a whole.

They have built a relationship with the city and represent everything right in how to run a football club.

The way that the players and manager Brendan Rogers greeted the man they call “Top” as he came onto the pitch to share in the celebrations of their first ever FA Cup win was a testament to what can be achieved when an owner understands the responsibilities that go with ownership.

Ask any Manchester United fan who they would rather have, the Glazers or “Top” Raksriaksorn and I don’t think there would be much of an argument.

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Watching The BRITS last Tuesday a couple of things struck me.

When the nominees for best UK male solo artist were read out I had absolutely no idea who any of them were.

Hearing the clips of songs that accompanied the names I certainly don’t feel I’ve been missing out on anything, but the singles chart has held very little interest for me since about 1986 anyway.

Meanwhile, an 80-year old is showing them all how it’s done with the biggest selling album in the country.

Tom Jones may have built a 56-year career on fake tan, bow ties and Vegas residencies, but there’s no denying that voice.

I can’t see J-Hus, if that’s what he’s called, being around at that age.

Stupid TV quiz answers of the week:

The Chase

Q: Anime is a form of animation that originates in which country?

A: France

Tipping Point

Q: How many pairs of wings does a monoplane have?

A: Two

Edward Case

Columnist