(Apologies to Joyce Meyer for the mis-spelling of her name. Actually, apologies also to John Newton who had already said this years earlier but he said it before the Internet and therefore it didn’t really count)
I couldn’t remember if HOH and Yours Truly had made a deal about whether I was going to watch Endeavour on my own because he had such a rubbish shift on Sunday and wouldn’t be back until after 11. We may have discussed it but I may not have been paying attention. So I decided not to bother. I found an old Danny Baker programme discussing the best ever pop albums. After a long discussion, Baker nominated Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall as his best pop album. This vindicated everything I had ever said on the subject. In my humble opinion, Jackson’s first solo album had been his best with Thriller and Bad being very nice thank you, but following the law of diminishing returns.
I had seen the same argument about Orson Welles. Welles first film was Citizen Kane. Many people have often nominated this as the best film ever made. There are not a lot of laughs in it to be honest but you can see what all the fuss was about. There then followed The Magnificent Ambersons which was not quite as good. Over the rest of his career, there were many highlights including The Thin Man and (my personal favourite) – The Stranger, but at the end of his life because his last jobs included providing the voice of Findus peas and the Carlsberg voice-over, the theory was put forward that he had lived his life backwards.
The theory is that, in life, we start with little expertise and experience and over the years , we combine both so that our lives are on a steady upward curve where we grow as people and we get gradually better at living, until, when we die, we are actually experts at life.
It isn’t really happening like that for me. If my learning curve is going up at all, it is in a very wobbly sort of way. It falls back sometimes and often it sort of doubles back on itself. Sometimes, these things have been my fault. Sometimes they are things that have happened to me that have knocked me back. However, taken as a whole, I would hope that as I get older, I may get wiser, maybe a bit stronger and a bit less lily-livered. I like to hope that my faith will be stronger. I agree with Paul McCartney and it is a Long and Winding Road but I am hoping and praying that when the video of my life is played back on that great VHS player in the sky, it will look to be moving forwards ultimately and finishing further on than where I started from.