Not the portrait in the attic
There’s a large canvas sitting in the garage bearing the face of a smiling, dark-haired male with rugged good looks. Okay, I made up the bit about the looks but it’s my face on the canvas and in spite of my wife’s best attempts to get rid of it, I’ve hung on to it. It was created for the launch party of this magazine ten years ago and when the last champagne cork had popped, me and myself shared a cab home.
The other fella was the only one smiling the next morning. Those 120 beers might have had something to do with it. Since then I’ve come close to dumping the canvas any number of times but could never quite bring myself to do it. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of this column, which has travelled from the one-time Telegraph to The Sunday Mail and then The Courier-Mail and from there, in 2005, to this magazine.
Ten years equals about 500 columns, 500 sit-downs in front of a keyboard with a blank stare and a mind to match, and several thousand more before this magazine was ever conceived.
We divide our lives into ten-year parcels – the Nineties, the Noughties and now the Twenty-Tens. I’d be happier now if they were divided into five-year bundles. The tens seem to roll by too fast. Life is no longer infinite. It doesn’t stretch away to a horizon lost in the mists of faraway time like it does for my 19-year-old stepson. I savour the small triumphs now rather than being forever on the lookout for the next adrenalin surge, and I’ve become grateful for the good things that have been bestowed on me, deserved or otherwise.
Certainly, there have been a lot more good things than bad in the years that have passed since the first edition of this magazine. If I can say the same in another ten, then I’ll be laughing, or at least smiling like that bloke on the canvas whose grin never falters.
Maybe that’s why I keep it.