Not the por­trait in the at­tic

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT - MIKEO ’CON­NOR

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.

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