I like a bit or order and stability in my life. I take a great deal of comfort in knowing that although life moves on at an even greater pace as the years pass, certain things remain the same and therefore the natural order of the universe is maintained.for example I hate it when the bank of England introduce a new style bank note, especially one that looks like it it was designed by somebody on medication.I also dread changing my mobile phone. With absolutely no exception I’ve never managed to make a mobile phone last longer than its contract meaning that along with an unnecessary expense I also have to lose all my stored pictures, music and contacts. Experience also tell me that in an attempt to rescue all the data, a phone call to the Orange technical helpline is as pointless as taking taking it into one of their shops for help. But more than just about anything,I hate new shoes. There wouldn’t be a single force in nature that would make me buy a pair of pants that left me blistered and I’d never in a million years buy a tee-shirt that after just one days worth of wear made my nipples bleed, but it seems that it’s not possible to buy a pair of shoes that don’t render me either temporarily disabled or leave me walking like I’ve just turtled. In the past I’ve tried buying hush puppies,which squeak when they’re wet, expensive shoes, which don’t give me blisters but do wear out faster than a fat bloke on a treadmill and I’ve tried cheap shoes from primark that seem to be waterproof but only on the inside meaning that a single step in a puddle is enough to give me trench foot. When my local supermarket has a layout change I get cranky if I can’t find my usual groceries in their usual places. I bet that a great amount of time is given over to meetings in supermarkets where someone with an expensive suit decides that if apples or baked beans were displayed on a different shelf they would sell in bigger numbers or that as consumers we are so stupid as to only buy stuff that’s displayed at eye level and so therefore if things like gold top milk were moved to to a lower shelf sales would plummet. These stores are so obsessed with change, or progress as they call it, that even their websites change seemingly every month meaning that I can’t even find my way around those with a familiar ease either.
To be honest the more I think about it, the more I come to fear that I’m rapidly becoming very old and stuck in the mud.There are times when I find myself sitting on the ‘wrong’ end of the sofa and feeling very out of place and don’t even get me started about which side of the bed is ‘my side’. Every single night for the last 3 years I’ve slept on the same side of the bed, except for when we’re on holiday, because we do seem to have holiday sides of the bed and as a consequence it feels really odd to sleep on the wrong side. There are some things that have stayed the same though.My dad still lives in the only family home that I have ever known which has been a constant source of reassurance and stability during some fairly tumultuous times in my life. So now that I have over laboured the point, by now you have got the idea that I don’t necessarily do change particularly well and that I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I like order and I like knowing that things are where I can find them and that they work. I like routine too, I find that I get a satisfying sense of familiarity from doing the same things at the same time each day or week. Now some people might find all of this a little bit dull and predictable and that’s fair enough, but it’s just the way I like it. It is true to say that I take the same routes to and from work everyday and at virtually the same time and I’ll either listen to the same radio station every day of sometimes plug my iPod in, but despite having hundreds of albums and thousands of songs on my iPod,it’s unlikely that in any given year I’ll ever listen to more than a few hundred of them.
I think that we all get used to things in life staying the same and never changing and there are some things that stay the same for so long that they not only form part of the very fabric of our society, but when they themselves change it affects a great many people. For example,at the start of the next football season it is going to seem very strange to watch match of the day and see a new manager at the helm of Manchester United.Today see’s the 1500th and last game in charge for Sir Alex Ferguson which is a record that will in my humble opinion never be broken. In a world of constant change where the average manager stays in their role for two and a half years this man has managed to not only cling on to the role in his early days, but make it so much his own that the thought of anyone doing it seems very strange. In the world of football where managers are judged on a week by week basis and the promise of the sack lurks just around the corner, this guy became so powerful and so prominent in his role that the prospect of new owners sacking him was tantamount to treason and his was probably the only job in football that was virtually guaranteed. In a way, a bit like the point I tried to make about Margaret Thatcher a few weeks ago, nobody seemed to sit on the fence when it came to holding an opinion on Sir Alex, you either liked or loathed him. Football fans are tribal people and it is the nature of the beast that you see the other tribe as a threat but surely even those tribes in Liverpool and the blue half of Manchester can at the very least respect this mans achievements. When Russian and Middle eastern billionaires took over at united’s rivals, they only temporarily took the title away from united, and it needs to be said that Manchester City’s owners spent in the region of half a billion pounds on players to beat united and even then it was only achieved by goal difference. At the very least, football fans of all colours should respect the achievements of Sir Alex, as the like of whom we are never going to see again. It truly is an end of an era.
Change also seems to have a domino effect. After Sir Alex announced he was retiring so did Paul Scholes and just a day or so ago David Beckham announced that as he is now the richest person in the history of ever, he too would call it a day. Wayne Rooney is on the verge of leaving the club that made him a gazillionaire as well and If you ever needed an example of how two people can cope with a change of wealth then look no further than Scholes and Rooney. Two brilliant footballers of their generations who could play for just about any club in the world, Scholes remains as reclusive as he always seems to have done and let his football do the talking and Rooney seems to have become the sulkiest person ever. Choosing to try and take the limelight from Sir Alex by announcing he wanted to leave the club at the same time as Ferguson’s final home game, having a major strop and a sulk just seems to illustrate to me how this guy has allowed his unimaginable wealth to change him into a seemingly miserable git. Those of us who have a memory span greater than that of a gold fish will remember that he had a similar sulk a few years ago and ended up getting a pay rise to £250,000 a week and it seems like he’s STILL not happy! If someone wanted to pay me a quarter of a million pounds a week you would be able to see me smiling from Pluto no matter what task you wanted me to do. Even playing wide right.
And finally, as it’s Sunday there are a few things I need to do in order to maintain my inability to change or escape from my routine. So now that my blog is finished for the week I’m off for a pint, a Sunday roast and a kip on the sofa.