10 Inspirational People
In no particular order.
1) My middle school English teacher who gave me a copy of Lord Of The Rings when the rest of the class were reading Stig Of The Dump and thereby managed to transform a bored and disruptive student into an lifelong literature fan.
2) My wife, where on Earth would I be without her, my endless creativity / daydreaming / absentmindedness is nicely balanced by Meg's organisation and determination. People often say that we're a bit chalk and cheese, but that's what you need in a marriage, you provide balance for each other and make something stronger than the sum of the parts, I don't know how I would manage to business without Meg.
3) My parents, although I was a typically disruptive and awkward teenager, I managed to soak up Father's work ethic and a dollop of Mum's compassion along the way.
4) My Scoutmasters, Scouting was wonderful, and I was lucky enough to experience it before the dismal tide of political correctness and health and safety overwhelmed it. We had a lot of rough and tumble fun, we did things and went to places that we wouldn't have otherwise, my lifelong love of walking was started by Tom, John, Mick, George and the rest, and I'm very grateful.
5) Keith Floyd, God rest him, who couldn't love Floyd's tipsy, rambling presentations, often a hopeless businessman but with a huge passion for food. Floyd's food wasn't about creating abstract art on a plate, it was about good ingredients, flavour and a deep understanding of the cuisines (of France especially) int he countries he visited.
6) My best mate, most of us do pretty ordinary jobs, we're cooks, computer fixers, office workers, drivers and the like, but my best mate does one of those hero's jobs where he is often in the line of danger in order to protect the public. I know he doesn't like me banging on about it, but it is what I think, cheers matey.
7) Jo Strummer and The Clash, I used to be rather right wing you know, but Strummer's lyrics were always there, tales of liberty and political insurrection. Justin Sullivan and New Model Army are another big influence and inspiration.
8) The kids, Joseph, Ellie, Stephen, Natty, Joshua and Kayleigh, spending time with my niece and nephew and my friend's children is always wonderful. The best thing about children is that when you're really just a 42 year old child yourself, messing around with the kids is just great fun.
9) The young people I work with, in turn positive, exasperating, hilarious, joyful, progressive, lacking in all common sense, forward looking, hopeful, audacious and unpredictable but never, ever dull. Oh, to be young and have no responsibility.
10) My friends, and especially my friends who are parents because that's like having at least one extra full time job per child, and to see such great young people being well guided into their place in the world gives you a bit of hope. I think my favourite thing to do is just to get all my family and friends and the kids round for dinner, eat too much, drink some good wine and have a good laugh, a family and friends dinner will invariably end with me in helpless fits of giggles over some daft joke.