What a wicked social life I lead! On Friday night I met the Lord Mayor of London at the British Club here in Porto Alegre. No, not Boris Johnson, but Alderman David Wootton, Mayor of the City of London. I’m sure it was just as much an honour for him to meet me. Why? Well, would you believe we are both from that great Yorkshire city – Bradford!
There are one or two differences between him and me, of course. David is six years older than me and attended the prestigious and much-renowned Bradford Grammar School.
I tried to get in there in 1966 but failed the scholarship exam. Now David is a very successful guy and well-known in concentric circles. Among other things he’s Chairman of the Institute of Directors, a member of the Law Society, Governor of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, President of the Society of Young Freemen and a member of the Athenaeum Rowing Club.
He lives in Sevenoaks. I imagine he’s got a seven-bedroom Tudor pile and zips around Kent in a sporty Range Rover. He’s probably got a cracking wine cellar, too, which he enjoys when he’s not jetting around the globe. But don’t think for one minute that I’m jealous. Far from it. After all, I’ve done so many great things in my life and have much to be proud of.
I’ve met the brother of a famous boxer. Richard Dunn was that big bloke from Halifax who got knocked out by Muhammed Ali. His brother Tommy Dunn once threw a punch at me on my own doorstep after I denied having backed into his car outside a pub. Luckily I ducked. What else? I’ve slept with quite a few women from different countries. When I say slept, I mean I didn’t always get laid – sometimes I thought it best to keep my underpants on.
I sold my car to Jesus. He was a Mexican guy in California who bought my 1969 Chevrolet Camero for half the price I paid for it after he discovered all the oil leaks. Talking of cars, I’ve changed the brake pads on a Morris Marina, although I admit I forgot to tighten the wheel nuts which freaked me out when the car started to shake like a cement mixer.
I’ve almost read the complete works of George Gissing, the Victorian novelist from Wakefield. I’ve seen Tony Benn making a speech at the Keighley Labour Club. I know how to make fruit scones, though the last lot didn’t rise much. I once sang “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” at a karaoke night in a pub on the Isle of Wight. Well, not the whole song as the DJ stopped it half-way through for some reason.
Yes, I’ve certainly experienced life’s rich tapestry. I’m sure if David Wootton had known all these things about me, he would have stayed talking to me for a bit longer as one minute was really not enough for him to get to know me. Next time I’m in Sevenoaks, Dave, I’ll drop round. And that’s a promise!