The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post
The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post.
Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.
Happiness! Happiness! The greatest gift that I possess.
I thank the Lord that I possess, more than my share of happiness!
So sang Ken Dodd back in 1964. And after making people laugh for more than 60 years, Doddy has learned that if you bring happiness to other people, it’ll make you happy too.
Why else would he still be taking his “Happiness” tour around packed theatres at the age of 88?
It’s not as if he needs the money . . . as some of us remember!
Four years after Doddy’s song reached Number 14 in the charts, The Beatles suggested that “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”.
I don’t suppose a song with that title would get much radio airplay in 2016 and as I’m partial to the occasional pastry, taken fresh from the oven, I prefer to think that happiness is a warm bun.
It’s not easy to come up with a definitive description of happiness that would apply to everyone, because what makes one person happy, such as their football team winning a match, baffles anyone not interested in football.
Likewise, football fans may not understand why finding a rare vinyl album in a second-hand shop might bring a warm glow to the heart of a collector.
Most of us only realise how relatively happy and contented we are when something suddenly occurs out of the blue to make us unhappy.
If you’re a Swansea resident, chances are you’re happy most of the time because a recent survey by a well-known property website revealed that out of 100 towns and cities in the United Kingdom, your city has been voted the 33rd happiest place to live.
Topping the list is Leigh-On-Sea in Essex, followed by Troon, Harrogate, Hertford and Lytham St Anne’s.
How was the list compiled?
Well, 24,000 people across the United Kingdom were asked to rank 12 factors about their local area, including friendliness of their neighbours, how much they feel they can be themselves and the quality of local services.
Two major reasons why residents were happy with their home towns, were ‘space’ and ‘close proximity to the sea/a beach’.
Considering Hertford and Harrogate are land-locked, I’m surprised that Swansea, with its own beach plus the glorious Mumbles and The Gower right on the doorstep, isn’t Number One!
Incidentally, Cardiff was way down the list at Number 93.
I bet that put a smile on your face!
Prepare to be shocked:
Even though I’m quite interested in the Rio Olympics, I think TV coverage has gone way over the top.
24/7, presenters and pundits constantly prattle on about Gold and Silver – possibly referring to the piles of money they’re making.
Presumably, the BBC’s over-the-top coverage, sometimes on BBC One and Two during prime-time, is to justify sending 455 staff and freelancers to Rio.
The BBC has even sacrificed their most intelligent channel BBC4 on the altar of sport for the duration of the Games, which is ludicrous.
Frankly, I don’t care how many medals are won by “Team GB” (What’s wrong with calling them “The British Team?”) and I’m amazed that Knighthoods and Damehoods are dished out like sweets to people because they can run or swim faster than someone else.
The hype around the 2012 London Olympics included the idea that it would encourage everyone to get involved in sport and become fitter.
As that didn’t happen and there are more obese people around than ever, perhaps there should be a new Olympic sport?
Balance is key:
Some of last week was spent in a beautiful part of England, Tring in Hertfordshire.
Rest assured, my main purpose for this journey was very much work related, but as most of you regular readers of my column know, I always mix work with pleasure. And why wouldn't I? Life is short enough as it is. Balance is key!
Three days in a country hotel and woken up by the wildlife surrounding us was a truly grounding experience and one that I could easily handle more of.
Peacocks, squirrels and rabbits roamed freely, without a care in the world and most of the time were not at all concerned with the occasional comings and goings of the hotel residents.
Just sitting and observing such natural beauty reduced my stress levels to zero. Highly recommended.
This made me think. Sometimes, the simple things in life are the best.
We have so much wonderful countryside and wildlife in Wales, why not switch off the TV, put down the social media for an hour or two and get out there and enjoy.
You know it makes sense.
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk