Fifty plus years ago today, in a West Yorkshire maternity unit, I made my inaugural appearance on this dysfunctional planet. An unremarkable event which went much to plan, apart from an unexpected necessity of engaging a tattoo artist to cover up three sixes discovered on my bonce.

This body art charlatan, charging my parents £20 so an inked number one to prefix the sixes. Consequently, my forebears returned to our Kirkstall family home potless and with a newborn son sporting three sixteens behind his left lug, as opposed to the sign of the beast.

Footnote – I’m no expert on inflationary costs over the decades, but I’ve got it on good authority that £20 in the early 1960’s is now worth something like £48 million…… Ok, I’ll come clean, it’s on very unreliable authority!

I’m told I was a relatively low maintenance babe in arms; apparently only waking my parents up once through a prolonged crying episode. Although, as this one occasion was from 3rd June 1963 – 17th March 1964, I’d suggest mater and pater afford me excessive benevolence when reflecting on my undemanding nature.

Anyhow, fast forward to present day. A landscape that, for the first time in 33 years, witnesses me spending my birthday residing at a parental home. For a variety of reasons, the cast of characters whose company I ordinarily savour at these times are conspicuous by their absence. That is with the exception of the familial matriarch with whom I now live, following the departure from my marital home last July..

As is the cyclic nature of the ageing process, these days it’s my 79 year old mother who requires the reciprocal care and support she initially bequeathed me during my fledgling days. As one of the two key protagonists of my very existence, who blessed our childhoods with love, care, security and decent mentoring, it’s the very least I can do.

With the advent of my birthday occurring under prevailing COVID induced confinement, I intend to make the most of my birthday with simple self-indulgences. Breakfasting on a bacon butty with a cup of builders tea, later dining on roast beef and all the trimmings washed down with a glass (or two) of red, embarking on a short walk around the village and spending an hour, or so, writing.

It’s not merely the experience of consuming two of my favourite culinary preferences which’ll raise my serotonin levels. After all, is there a finer redolence than the heady brew granted when cooking bacon or roast beef?…… Unless, of course, you possess ideological, dietary or religious objections.

The residential aura lavished upon abodes occupants through these dishes culinary processes enhances the delectation of the whole experience. Dubbing the sensation as grandly as sensory poetry would be over-egging the (Yorkshire) pudding somewhat. However, for me, there’s an underlying catharsis bestowed by this cooking essence.

Anyhow, enough of this pretentious hooey!…….

It’s time to bring this piece relating to GJ Strachan’s natal day anniversary to a conclusion. It’s close to midday and yours truly will shortly venture into the kitchen and, utilising the birthday presents of Tassimo coffee machine and Leeds United (Don Revie Years) mug, treat myself to a Costa Americano with a dash of semi-skimmed milk.

When my son Jonny rang to wish me a happy birthday, I thanked him for the mug emblazoned with the names of eleven players names which Don Revie ordinarily turned to as his starting side. Childhood heroes all, whose majesty on the football pitch during the early 1970’s contributed towards an adolescence in clover.

Sadly, I then side-stepped into position ungrateful. Pedantically feeling moved to point out to my adult son a small error with the main protagonists names, which for historical completeness I felt should be brought to his attention.

Consequently, informing my oldest offspring that Terry Cooper predominantly undertook the left back role on Don’s team sheet, not Paul Madeley as this factually flawed piece of crockery was endeavouring to sell me.

Jonny paused briefly before responding tersely “Tell it to your local MP!”……. Has anyone any idea who the MP for East Ardsley is?!