England fans celebrate after watching the Euro 2020 | Reuters


Are you a glass half-full person or a glass half-empty person? Well, I have to say that I used to be an optimist, but slowly yet surely I have succumbed to pessimism in all its various forms. It maybe just an age thing that demands that I expect the worst so that I’m never disappointed, but in truth that’s the cowards way out of embracing life; you see, being the cynic is so much easier than being forever optimistic.

The thing is, being cynical and world weary is so much cooler and sexier than being a bright-eyed optimist; because optimism needs commitment and pessimism doesn’t. Take England’s progress in the Uefa Euro Championships for instance.

Unlike some of my friends and family I always have a terrible foreboding in the days and hours before the game itself and it has to be said that even when England were four nil up against Ukraine in the quarter finals I was still squirming with worry sat upon my sofa until the final whistle was blown.

So can you imagine my angst when our boys went a goal behind to Denmark on Wednesday night? I am told by somebody who knows me very well indeed, that as I have aged I have become somewhat of a doom laden pessimist; I wonder if this is normal?

For instance, I will always anticipate lengthy queues at supermarket checkouts and am almost disappointed if I get through quickly and unmolested. Ditto - regarding heavy traffic on the cintura and people wilfully double parking outside of the bar in my village - this is because I find that I quite enjoy shaking my fist and swearing at them.

Recently I have been taking tips on positivity via a website entitled www.mindlessoptimism.com**which I read about in one of her magazines and it seems to be doing the trick. First of all you have to cut down on the time you spend with people who are negative; this is all-right in theory, but as most of my friends make me look like I’ve overdosed on happy-pills I could soon become Frankie no-mates.

Optimists anonymous

If I stick to my new positive thinking regime perhaps I will not expect my flights to be always delayed; maybe my hand-luggage will be 2 kilos underweight rather than be resigned to shift my undies to another bag. Once you get the hang of this optimism malarkey I think that the whole world could be you lobster.

For instance maybe the Germans aren’t trying to take over Europe after all. Perhaps the French and that little chap who is their present leader are not seething with constant resentment at we Brits because of Brexit. Come on - Boris Johnson may well be a principled politician and the Duke & Duchess of Sussex are not as self obsessed and tediously ‘right on’ as they appear to be.

Are you a glass half-full person or a glass half-empty person?

Once you get the hang of this optimism malarkey I suppose that it could be really quite liberating. Nevertheless, it might be for the best not to overdo the jocularity, as ‘smiley’ people can seriously get on a persons wick after a while and let’s face it - there is nothing like a good moan sometimes is there?

At this juncture however, it might be for the best to advise you that to make optimism and positive thinking work, you have to at least nod in the direction of reality. And so, alas - taking 30 minutes to register your car at ‘Traffico’ or expecting random utility companies not to dip into your bank account when they feel like it, is just plain silly, so you have to be sensible about your optimism or you are liable to cross that fine line into the delusional.

The best thing is to start small and then build up to world peace, a three day working week and free beer, also - if you wish, send me your positive fantasies and I will sent them onto a very specialised website that I have heard about. Saving that, let’s all become fully paid up members of Optimists Anonymous, a pressure group that I have just invented and cast away all doubts.

Dull pessimists call upon us all to plan for the worst and hope for the best; what sort of credo for life is that, it’s not a devil-may-care Rock ’n Roll lifestyle choice is it? No indeed not, more Conan the Librarian than Easy Rider, personally I am of the opinion that life is for living - faint heart never won fair maid and pessimists are generally, but not exclusively a complete pain in the bum.

Taking a dive!

Imagine the scene, there I am stood by the side of our modest swimming pool arms outstretched in the manner of an olympic swimming champion seeking a gold medal.

However after I had dived nosily into the pool I discovered that I had gone completely deaf and that no amount of head shaking and nose blowing would clear my ears. Naturally, I sought sympathy from my beloved, but all she would say (via hand signals) was that why didn’t I walk down the pool steps like any normal old person?

Unhappily, my hearing didn’t return until the next morning, but - during this time because Julie had to shout at me to be heard she completely lost her voice, thus I could hear no evil - whilst she could speak no evil.

** Alas, I made up this website - but I still think that there is room in the market for such a support group!