Blaise Tapp: I’m happier being an old goat than a sheep

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Never one to follow a crowd I have made it my life’s work to be the odd one out.

The contrarian in me dictates that I will almost always take the counter view even if the argument before me is a perfectly reasonable one.

I am fiercely proud of the fact that I have never been at the forefront of any fashion craze and will almost always go out of my way to avoid the television programmes or bands that everybody else is raving about.

Why? Because being a sheep is never nearly as much fun as being a stubborn old goat. Which is why this autumn, unlike many others under the age of 40, I have absolutely no intention of either giving up booze for this month or growing a moustache in November. Fair play to all of those well meaning folk who are laying off the sambuca and blue alcopops for 31 days in aid of a good cause but it is not for me. I will put a fiver in your charity bucket but give up my pint of flat brown beer at a time when the nights draw in? You must be joking.

It would be easy to accuse people who share my opinions on healthy living drives masquerading as fundraising campaigns, not to mention the annual ‘who can grow the worst piece of bum fluff under their hooter’ contest, as being mean spirited Scrooges. But there are some who would counter that I am merely acting my age as apparently it has been proven that we are at our happiest until our mid 20s and then it all goes downhill when you reach your 30s and become burdened with life. These findings by Australian academics are not the most earth shattering ever and could be the daftest thing to come out of that country since Skippy. Yes there are a lot of miserable middle aged beggars out there but personally I am having much more fun than I did in my 20s.

Going back nearly 20 years my home was a draughty bedsit overlooking the Irish Sea with a neighbour who wore a woolly hat in June and hoovered at midnight. My diet was burnt toast for breakfast, super noodles for lunch and chips and a saveloy for tea – as far as my trainee reporter’s wage would stretch. While I had enough brass left for two nights out each week these were far from the happiest days of my life. While 20 somethings today tend to have the constitution of a whole herd of oxes and a large disposable income due to the fact many of them still live at home, I would take the stresses that come with the responsibility of a life such as mine every time. My early 20s were plagued with the self doubt that often goes hand in hand with immaturity and the fact that I hardly had a penny to scratch my rear end with. I have long since accepted that I will never have David Beckham’s good looks or his money but a bit of life experience teaches you to be grateful for what you have got.Miserable? Not me, but you will still not convince me to stop boozing or grow facial hair in the name of a good cause.

I am happy how I am thanks.

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