Sometimes I get asked, why are you a vegetarian? At that moment my heart sinks a little. It's like asking someone: Why do you believe in God? Or, What's the root cause for conflict in the middle east? It's not easy to deliver a sound bite in a sentence or two, especially when it's on a conviction of conscience that took months of soul searching to reach. It is for that reason I tend to turn the question on its head and say:
Occasionally we all have wonderful dreams. Upon waking remaining with us for a few hours; occupying thoughts the drudge to work, even persisting through the day. Then there are the very rare dreams that strike with a strength that can not be forgotten, seeming to arrive from a place beyond the manifestations of a resting imagination.
It has always been a dream of mine to one day have a family home equal to my grandfather's, where Christmas would bring friends and family in from the cold and closer to the fireside. He taught me how to love Christmas. Almost every room in my grandparent's house had a tree. He had a homemade nativity crib, strings of coloured lights across the ceiling, sweets, sacks of presents, clove decorated oranges and strange parlour games handed down from his Victorian grandparents. His mischievous character and his childlike joy at that time of year live on in my siblings and me.
In each of our relationships, too often we can be tempted to think in black and white. It's perfect - err wait up! Where's the exit! There is a list of "lines" unique to the individual, but culturally connected, that if crossed, trigger immediate soul-searching and relationship re-evaluation.
In the UK, wannabe alphamale behaviour will likely lose you friends, alienating both sexes. Grey back culture does exist north of the channel, but go to any gym or bar, and watch how the majority of the population are doing all they can to avoid those people.
As a boy, I loved a film called National Lampoon’s European Vacation. I rented it on VHS from the local Blockbuster a dozen times before I entered the age of teenage indifference to feel-good comedies.