School Reunion – I’m Sorry I Can’t Be With You Tonight…

reunion

….. but I’m afraid I’ve still got the teeniest, tiniest part of self-esteem and self-respect left. I’ve also realised, albeit belatedly, that I have limited time left on this planet. No, no I’m not terminally ill or anything – just getting older, practically by the minute.

But a reunion – really? I know that, for some people, it’s fun to see what’s happened to people they knew forty years ago. Some people love to listen to the heartaches and the tears, the joy of children brought into the world and sadly those who didn’t make it. They love to compare where you go on holiday, why you left your last job, how you ended up in Guantanamo Bay on a misunderstanding. But honestly – it’s not for me. I’m fifty-nine years old now and if there’s one thing life has taught me in those fifty-nine years is that I do not want to be stranded like some Robinson Crusoe / Victor Meldrew character on an island for several hours (which seems like several lifetimes) with people I have chosen, yes chosen, not to contact for a very, very good reason, for two thirds of my life. I really, really don’t need to be shown photos or videos of holidays, wives, husbands, cleaners, gardeners, children, homes, second homes, holiday homes, ‘the nice yurt we spent three months in when we ‘found ourselves’ in Turkmenistan’, cars, caravans, mid-life crisis motor bikes, pot-bellied pigs, cats or dogs – on the latest ipad, iphone 7 or Huawei P9 (Max).

I’m too old and too stubborn to willingly submit to that “hello, you haven’t changed at all” handshake. The thought of staring at someone trying desperately to think of an answer to an interrogation on the values of your life that begins with questions such as “So, what do you do now?”, “Are you married?”, “How did you find the food in prison?”,”Didn’t you used to be Byron Kalies?” or “Shit, what happened to your hair?” feels me with fifty shades of dismay.

I would like to say I’m too busy. I would like to say that I’m busy that evening on a bender with Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jack Nicholson and Woody Allen drinking, doing drugs and chasing women in a downtown bar in Port Talbot. I would like to say that, but that couldn’t possibly be true – I’m not allowed back in Port Talbot after the incident involving Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the summer of 1986.

No, I’ll be at home – watching Coronation Street with the best company I could ever imagine – myself. Yes, you were right all along – “He was an egotistical, self-centred bastard forty years ago and he’s an egotistical self-centred bastard today.”

To be completely honest I do have one regret. I would have happily turned up if I could be assured that you are all fatter, more miserable, unluckier and poorer than me. If it could be guaranteed that at least half of you have only been released from prison for the day, and the rest of you have had to borrow the money for bus fare from your current probation officer. Alas, I know that it would be practically impossible for any of you to be on a lower social standing than myself.  My dream was to be a writer. I am a prolific writer who last book sold fewer copies than Linda Wright’s ‘Toilet Paper Origami’ and Brugemmeier, Cioc and Zeller’s seminal work ,’How Green Were the Nazi’s’ combined.

I’m sure I have some hilarious stories and happy memories of school somewhere. There is a place deep, deep in my subconscious where  memories exist of midnight feasts, Defence against the Dark Arts lessons, Olly asking for ‘more’ and jolly pranks throwing first years off the roof. However, I’m struggling desperately to remember the difference between Pontllanfraith Grammar Technical School, Greyfriars and Hogwarts. I do remember all the boys at school being taller than me, more handsome than me and having better haircuts than me. I also remember every one of the girls scaring the shit out of me. I assume none of that has changed. I certainly haven’t.

So it is with great reluctance that I really, truly, deeply, honestly, genuinely and sincerely can’t be arsed to travel the three and a quarter miles from my house to the pub to wallow in glorious memories of dorm raids, tuck shops, six of the best, quidditch and picking up the ball, running with it and inventing the game of rugby. Honestly, I remember practically nothing of my time at school. I remember vaguely there being teachers, walls, windows, bells ringing, floors, shoes, people with heads, chairs, unhappiness and frustration. Nowadays at the best of times I have a memory like a … oh you know, what do you call it. I barely remember my cat’s name now so the thought of trying to guess, give up, ask and then remember the names of people from four fifths of a century ago just seems like too much bloody hard work. I don’t do hard work anymore.

All the best and I do hope you have fantastic evening on this very important n (insert number here) th year of some memorable event. I won’t be able to make it this year, and probably next year, and quite possibly the year after, and so on and so on. However, please feel free to contact me for the oak anniversary.

Grumpily yours

Byron

Golfers Say The Funniest Things

pretentiousgolf

“In no other sport does the nature of the contest allow the players to be so free of jealousy and enmity, so willing to help and support each other and be so sincere in their acceptance of each other’s success.– Jack Nicklaus

“Golf is a game, not a sport” – Larry Ramirez

“To find a man’s true character, play golf with him.”- PG Wodehouse

“Golf has made me and shaped me into the person I am here today.” – Tiger Woods

“Golf is a spiritual game. It’s like Zen. You have to let your mind take over.” – Amy Alcott

“The main idea in golf as in life, I suppose is to learn to accept what cannot be altered and to keep on doing one’s own reasoned and resolute best whether the prospect be bleak or rosy.” – Bobby Jones

“Eighteen holes of match or medal play will teach you more about your foe than will 18 years of dealing with him across a desk” – Grantland Rice

“Yes, I did talk to my players, but my vice captains were very instrumental in making decisions.” – Tom Watson

“What other people find in poetry or art museums l, I find in the flight of a good drive.” – Arnold Palmer

Golf and You – Prelude To a Book I Will Write Some Day ….Really

 

Golf and You - Prelude

Preface

Golf originated in the 12th century in Scotland with shepherds knocking chuckies into hawls with crummocks.

800 years later the chuckies may well now be titeliest Pro V and your “relief “crummock could have a polymer cord hybrid black grip.

Yet essentially it’s the same game; your task is to get the pebble into the rabbit hole with the least number of  cloots.” ……..an for thaim efter enjoyin the gemme o gawf “

 Credo

  I promise it will not have an opening chapter about your grip, a chapter dealing with the 10 most common faults or chapters entitled – “Putting – The Game Within A Game”, “Understand Your Swing” or “Warming Up Before Your Round”. It won’t contain a foreword by a famous player (the best I could hope  for is Bradley Dredge as my mum knows his mum, slightly).

There will be no colour illustrations of me, or Bradley, shot on a Spanish golf course standing in a gorgeous yellow sandy bunker looking wise. There will be no drills from me, pretending that I’m the first person who has ever suggested it, telling you to; “hit your putts at a ball marker, not at the hole”, “on bunker shots hit the sand 1 inch behind the ball” or “ practice swinging with your legs tied together to improve your balance”. 

 

 

None of this ........
None of this ……..
.... or, thankfully, this
…. nor, thankfully, this

 The point of the book will be;

 1.  To give people a chuckle

 

2. To teach golfers (and any real people who stumble over this book) a little about themselves, how they think, why they do what they do, what motivates them, and offers them alternatives.

 

3. To remind everyone not playing on the Professional Circuit that that golf is a game, a pastime, a diversion, an entertainment….

 

 

The Bradley Dredge Formation Putting Team in action
The Bradley Dredge Formation Putting Team in action

What reviewers won’t be saying about this book;

 “This goldmine of ideas teaches you how to generate the most power from your swing, hit your irons close and stop three-putting”

 “This masterpiece of simplicity offers a fast track to a lower handicap for all…each chapter offers fascinating insights that are guaranteed to save you shots.”

 

“This eye-opening tutorial will empower golfers… a fast track to a better game.” 

 

“When I started reading this book I rarely broke 100. Within a week I was playing off scratch. By the time I had finished it I was on the professional circuit…… I can thoroughly recommend it.”  

 

Movable Obstructions at play
Movable Obstructions at play
To any publishers reading this :
Let’s start the bidding at £10,000 shall we?…………………..