LIKE a lot of children, I had visions of growing up to be famous, but the image I held in my head that encapsulated this dream, was not of a big house or flashy cars, or being accosted in the street by adoring fans.
No, it was the image of me being invited as the guest celebrity on Desert Island Discs, the long running BBC radio programme.
Strange as it sounds, this would have indicated to me that I had ‘arrived’.
But don’t laugh, I still believe that there is something deliciously self indulgent about choosing your personal favourite pieces of music and having the luxury of sharing them with the world.
As those of you of a certain age will remember, also allowed along with the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible; the desert island castaway can choose to take just one book, and although selecting eight pieces of music from the thousands that I love would be next to impossible, my book choice would present no problem.
The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson would be my choice. Following on from his earlier book: Notes from a Small Island it is a charming and often hilarious insight into the landscape and character of our islands, and because Bryson is American, he delights in detailing what he sees as the strange customs and quirkiness of the inhabitants of the British Isles.
Through all his observations, his obvious love and enchantment with the British people and their homeland shines through, putting to shame many Brits who, politics aside, show nothing but negativity about their mother country with its physical beauty and fascinating history.
Whenever I fly home from Spain or some far-flung location, the English landscape is instantly recognisable and perhaps it’s the sight of those famous white cliffs, but I swear I can hear Vera Lynn giving it large somewhere in my head.
I never did get the swanky big house and Bentley, but then I still have a lot of growing up to do. But one thing I have promised myself is that one day I will embark on my own journey, visiting the towns, villages, and countryside that hold a special meaning for me, and who knows, perhaps write my own book.
Britain has the most fascinating past in terms of world history and it may be unfashionable to say this, but Britain for me is not Europe.
Britain is quite simply . . . Britain.
Incomparable and unique.