Thursday, 22 August 2013

Come join me.....

Update! 

Ok this didn't go to plan! I became the grumpiest man on earth, yep, grumpier than normal! I will stop, it's not that far away but in the words of Mrs R "Please start again!" 

If you've stopped as a result of the below, then you will, in the not too distant future, inspire me! 

I took the plunge on what I see to be my last bad vice to conquer in what has been the most self sacrificing life changing year of my life, Yes, I write this as a non smoker! 

Why is it when you stop something, wether it be smoking, drinking, eating shit food it would seem  every single person you bump into or pass or look at is doing the very thing you are trying to stop? 

A few things have shocked me now the fags and lighters have gone and all are, suprisingly, really positive! 

I can smell stuff, I can taste stuff but worst of all I can smell a smoker from 40 yards! Being in my company must have been like sticking your head in a life size ashtray! 

I gave up for a few reasons, the most important one was my daughter Roxanne who some months a go pleaded with me to stop, I wasn't really in a place then to even consider her caring and loving cries to help me live longer, thank God I am today!  

A huge player in the Roycey "Smoking" change was Gary Barlow, he has been moaning about my fag breath for two years now and recently at "Bootcamp" he gave me "The Look" this was followed a few moments later by Louis good friend  Liam, who works closely with him. I went to say hi and he looked me straight in the eye and said "You stink of smoke" that was the last straw for me and the decision was made deep in the "vice corner" of my brain! 

I visited my doctor first to try and get a pill by the name of "Champix" however with a side effect of "Depression" it wasn't the greatest of ideas for me, so my charming doctor sent me packing to a pharmacy, yes, any pharmacy! 

I was un-aware that our brilliant NHS now offers a full supportive programme to give up at any pharmacy - so off I trotted to a fellow school parents shop and stood proud as I announced "I want to stop smoking!" 

The support is amazing, it's a full dedicated programme to help you reduce the nicotine intake at a safe manageable speed and it's tried and tested! 

If I needed any reason to stop, the carbon monoxide reading underlined my decision beautifully. The top mark on the "Reading card" was 25+ I blew 50! 

I've made so many changes to my "Me" recently and it has been truly amazing! I've conquered fears, stood up to what I believe to be right, changed old habits and re focused on every single area of my life, easy? Fuck no! But the rewards are simply beautiful. 

If you have just one small thought of stoping smoking, come join me, we can do this together! 

Honestly, if I can stop, anyone can stop! 

Here ends the smoking preaching blog! 







Friday, 2 August 2013

An the award goes to....

The worst thing about returning from a holiday is having to put shoes & socks on its a friggin outrage and the true "Bring us backdown to earth with a bump" moment! Do you think if you lived in a country where flip-flops were the order of the day you'd get a few excitable butterflys packing brogues and stripy socks in ya case?  
Just a thought!

We can be an inventive lot - loved this picture of a gypsy community making use of hay bails to make a swimming pool! 


I love my Royal family, (For those who follow me on twitter, read my blogs and watch me on Sky news, you will know that it's a bit of a passion of mine!) So I was overjoyed to see the greatest job description EVER for the very beautiful Duchess of Cambridge - "Princess of the United Kingdom" 

She fills the role beautifully and I for one will pay for it all day long, as I would for the Queen, Phillip, the amazing Prince Charles, Camilla, our newest dad, Prince William and yes my favourite, Prince Harry, who in my opinion should never ever change! I actually like the idea that I bought him a beer by way of my taxes in Vegas, in my mind this was a better use of my tax than my local refuge collection service! (See a couple of blogs a go!) 


I walked on a stage for the first time at the age of 7, it was the school talent show and I did a comedy routine pretending to lift weights, I had the whole junior school in stitches. My second role was the "Scarecrow" in "The Wizzard of Oz" which I performed in a strong Yorkshire accent (My place of birth!) which during the audition in front of my first class in Junior school won me the role, my third was to be my first lead role in a production called "The Car" at the much coverted Grayshott Hall, The play was supposed to be a serious drama but in good ole' Roycey fashion I made it a lighter more laughable affair making the steering wheel of the car fall off at the pinacle moment! (I just couldn't resist!)

My point being I have dreamed my whole life of collecting an award, it's kinda the ultimate people pleasing accolade, the recognition of your piers and the moment you get to say to yourself "I did it" If any performer tells you awards mean nothing they're lying! So even back at the tender age of 7 it was about being the best at what I did and wining the award! The lovely Amanda Holden has her Oscar speech already written and if anyone has ever seen my Mandy act then you too will know that it is only a question of time before we hear her read it to Hollywood. 

The thing is awards can be awarded for oneself by oneself, you don't need an audience, a cheer, a gong, a speech or even a designer dinner suit, you just need to sit with yourself and be proud of the achievement - that is the greatest award of them all and you don't need a limo to get there, just hard work and a passion that if you're born with will never disappear!

There is however a but, isn't there always! 

A letter arrived that I should attend an "Award Ceremony" on a Saturday afternoon some years a go at 4pm sharp! At last after years in show business I was to be recognised, I would be presented the award in front of my close friends, family and neighbours! 

After a sleepless night and choosing my designer outfit I decided to walk to the much converted Ceromony, I never ever want to get too stuck up my own arse and forget how long the journey has been (Although I have lost my way a few times - guilty as charged and head now hopefully out of my arse!)

And here was the greatest award.....


I know, my real name is "Starr" the irony eh! (And no I don't live there anymore!)

After months and months of watering, pruning, deadheading and cultivating I won an award (Be careful what you wish for!) If my memory serves me correctly II didn't even enter myself, I think someone else entered me although I could be wrong! 

So this was the wining display! 


I won this award through hard work, commitment and the same passion that llives in my heart today.  So many an evening was spent watering and I have so many stories to share! My neighbours J & B announced their engagement, E & L got pregnant (Not in the garden!) and told me while watering! I met my first ballet dancer (Not including my wife!) and struck up a friendship with a beautiful family who escaped a war torn Afghanistan, I met and would chat to the sweetest kindest retired WW2 R.A.F pensioner and listened to his amazingly brave stories and watch him walk off to the West End to collect on Poppy Day,  I watched my neighbour Claudia fall in love (It took forever!) I met two cats and enjoyed watching the various outbreaks of road rage on the small road that ran outside my flat! The downside -  I used enough water to cause the 2005 hosepipe ban! Sorry London - my fault! 

The Ceromony was not to be the glorious affair I had spent the sleepless night before dreaming about however! It became clear very quickly that Mr Ononobolis and his delightful wife were not happy with loosing the award to a middle aged bloke who just loved to water his hydrangers! (They had won first prize for years and years) They brought along thier friends and when they were called forward to collect the second prize, it was met with cheers and huge claps, when I was called forward it seemed only the bloody local Councilor seemed genuinely happy that the "yout'" had taken up gardening. 

After picking up my award and a £25 voucher for the stunning Clifton Gardens garden centre (25 quid would buy you an emoty pot if you were lucky but still a beautiful garden centre if your ever in the area) I went to shake the hand of Mr and Mrs O and was not far off being blanked, this was turning into a bloody nightmare! Sorry Mr Onobolis for interrupting your good run but my front garden was better! 

I have since moved and driving past the old flat the other day I can now clearly see that Mr O (I keep writting "O" as the spelling of his surname is getting on mine and my predictive texts tits!) must now be back in possession of the very sought after much celebrated "Harrow Road Front garden and window box competition"  because sadly it was left to die away and now resembles a photo of the London Mayor "Boris" hair - it actually made me sad, the garden not the hair, I love Boris! 

There is a lesson here (I know, here I go again!) if you sit in ya house the only person you are going to talk to is you, if you stare at your TV shouting at the state of our country and moaning endlessly at the shit state of your road, village, town or city then sorry you really do only have yourself (ourselves) to blame! 

FFS (just so the kids think I'm "with it!") get out, water your garden, make a flower box or even pick a weed! You might even get a hello, you might even get to know a neighbour you might better understand the plight of a family new to our country, you may not be so quick to slag off the noisy kids oppisite, you may make a friend, if only with the local cat, you might be the only hello an old person has had for hours or even days and you might, just might start the ball rolling in a thing called "community!" 

The award for me wasn't for a great garden, it was for the people I met, the stories I heard and the memories I can now keep! 

So Mr Cameron and Mr Mayor, worry not about plowing millions into focus groups on how to "build a community" just buy everyone a window box and a plant and watch our country and communities grow and blosom once more as we start the very simple process of talking to each other! 

Thank you for reading! 

NB. I did my own grammar again, so go with it and if in doubt, use your imagination!