Going West

This morning I followed 19th century American author Horace Greeley’s advice of “Go west, young man!”

My embracing of this adage a consequence of the need to drive Mrs Strachan senior (mater) to my sister’s home in Macclesfield. Certainly not a desire to follow the sentiments of Greeley’s advocacy of relocating to undertake an agricultural work role. A career move aimed at solve numerous national economic issues poverty and unemployment.

Admittedly, I’m stretching reality by classing myself as a young man. However, I added those two words to give me an excuse to gloat about, last Saturday, being mistaken for someone in their mid-30’s.

This inadvertent compliment received from a 33 year old woman at the Stevie Wonder Hyde Park concert I was attending……. And before you ask, no she didn’t suffer from the same eyesight impairment as the legendary American singer.

I’d be lying by saying I wasn’t deeply flattered that someone’d knocked 20 years off my actual age. However, if truth be told, yours truly doesn’t for one moment believe I look a mere six years older than my 29 year old son Jonny, or indeed only nine years senior of 26 year old daughter Rachel.

Nevertheless, I took the compliment. Thanked the young lady guilty of grossly misreading my stage of the ageing processing and hastily filed for a ‘quicky’ online restraining order. Coincidentally this was granted by email midway through Stevie Wonder’s performance of ‘I Ain’t Gonna Stand For it’.


As I drove my mum west, which she claimed made a refreshing change from driving her mad, our musical accompaniment wasn’t the blind Michigan-born singer/songwriter. Moreover, one of my late dad’s musical hit compilation CD’s was our audio companion.

Consequently, as we ventured westbound along the M62, GJ Strachan ‘treated’ his mother to his versatility of being able to murder any refrain in four different octaves. Belting out unconvincing impersonations of, amongst others, Michael Ball, Michael Crawford, Colm Wilkinson and Barbra Dickson.

Mrs S senior commenting that she’d never heard the songs of Aspects of Love, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Tell Me on a Sunday sounding so off-key. Adding further  she bet Garforth Community Choir were relieved when they heard I was unable to make their performance at G-Fest this Saturday.

Admittedly my attempt to enhance the in-car entertainment may’ve been a acquired taste, however things could’ve been significantly worse, or should I say dangerous, as we crossed the Pennines.

This potentially jeopardous few minutes introduced into the sojourn when the Riverdance refrain started playing. I’m unsure whether it’s a calling from my Celtic roots, however I’ve an affliction than renders me unable not to tap my feet at speed when hearing music from the Riverdance score.

Ordinarily, this isn’t a troublesome tic, but when you’re driving a motor car with three pedals at 70mph, it’s a potentially life threatening activity to indulge in. The over-excited nature of my feet movement putting me at risk of inadvertently undertaking an emergency stop on one of the busiest motorways in the UK.

Thankfully, though, on this occasion my giddiness at hearing Celtic refrains from a union of fiddle, flute Uilleann pipes, a button accordion and concertina didn’t cause result in a motorway catastrophe.

Consequently, we arrived at Helen, and her husband Steve’s home safely……. I’ve booked my car into the local garage tomorrow morning to have my footwells welded back on!


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