I like to read Confucius and Alan Watts, the Sunday Times and The guardian in the week and I hate the Daily Mail. I do this from a working class background where my grandfathers were miners and bakers, and my parents were made up of a painter and decorator and a seamstress turned social care worker. I enjoy the working class pursuit of grass roots football and juxtapose this with a love of the ‘upper class sports’ such as cricket and rugby union.
I don’t do the food shopping in my house, but if I did, I’d quite happily mix Waitrose fruit and veg with sandwich filler pots from Aldi. All of this, I feel, creates a slightly stranger than your average individual. Some might say a false sense of grandiose. Some may say that a working class boy is trying to move up the ladder. I have a middle class, middle management job title but a working class wage. My grandfather, the miner, has an engrained hatred of the Conservative party and regularly comments that if he were to ever have met the much maligned Baroness Thatcher on ‘the pit top’, that she would have been thrown down the shaft followed swiftly by hundreds of tons of hardcore to fill it in. Despite this, I have an admiration for the Tories and, if I had the compulsion to mark my cross on a ballot slip, would happily give “call me Dave” Cameron my vote.
I try to live my life in a manner which I think Jesus Christ himself would have been shyly proud of (that’s not to say that I have borrowed Russell Brand’s Messiah Complex). I embrace our nation’s multiculturalism. I give to charity. I watch question time to educate myself and to scorn at the mere mention of Mr Farage. I’ve reached an age where I am no longer obliged to be “cool”. The kids these days will know more ‘happening’ bands than I do (I told you I’m not cool) and will speak words that are unfathomable to a man who went to school with a game boy and a tamagotchi. I’m also at an age where people who don’t know my age assume I remember much further back than I do. I’ve never had a great memory. One reason I’ve never tried to get into stand up comedy. That and (going back to my age again) the fact that I tell quite terrible ‘dad jokes’ most of the time. Here’s one….no I won’t put you through it.
I have a small group of friends and a long list of acquaintances. Acquaintances from my time at university are my favourite acquaintances of all. I didn’t go to a posh university, I didn’t read the classics or medicine. But the diversity of my social circle during my student years was huge. We thought the one chap was a posh snob, until E4 introduced us to Made In Chelsea. The typical Yorkshire lass who had an amazing family and the Manchester lad who idolised the lifestyle of poker star Dan Bilzerian.
I know right. A messed up sense of being. One of those b’stards who always point out that you’ve spelt something wrong when he himself went to an average state school and an average university. I dislike the American English language profusely. Colour is spelt with a ‘u’ and their pronunciation of the word aluminium strikes incandescence in my cerebral cortex. But that is not to say that I have a xenophobia towards the Americans. I love their comedy, most of their music and most of all their spirit. The feeling that you can come to America with a penny in your pocket and a hat full of dreams and create companies on the scale of Google, Starbucks or Facebook. The ‘American Dream’. But please please please, when discussing the making of soft drinks packaging, just say they’re made of metal.
I suppose I write this blog to find out the answer to my second paragraph. Am I an annoying working class lad with a superiority complex, or am I someone who was just born in the wrong place. I don’t suppose it will be witty or life affirming. It may not even be interesting. But I will persist all the same.