They were indeed heady times, and are always looked back on with delightful relish. I’m not saying we all have to be in a band, just that next time you feel discombobulated with yourself, try to remember those flashes from the past that made up the scenery on the journey that brought you here.
It's a strange concept when we're told things are free. Firstly, we're led to believe that the best things in life are free, only to find out that these 'things' should be given to the birds and bees as it's money that people want. The problem is that money shouldn't be cared for as it can't buy you love, and everybody tells you so. Then of course there's the free lunch, which is naturally weird because as soon as you hear about it, you're told it doesn't exist. I could never figure out if it was like the Yeti. And if these 'free lunches' do happen under the premise of an assumed debt, what favour are my parents going to claim for the endless Nobbly Bobblies I devoured at Barry Island?
So what, in this 'Best things' category is truly free? To begin with, you're free, to do what you want, any old time. If I was to be serious for a minute, I would simply say that you just need to make yourself aware that these 'things' are out there, and with the right frame of mind, they'll stumble your way.
You'll be surprised what does. On holiday in Dorset, I regularly 'helped myself' to some fresh apples from a box marked with the same sentence. That same holiday, I got to 'Hitch Hike' for the first time, when a incredibly kind man answered my thumb (I believe that's the right term). This fine fellow was nice enough to bundle me and my girlfriend in his car and drive past his door to drop us off at our door. Not only did it relive our legs, but saved us from the storm that had started brewing.
More recently, I've been scouring the charity shops for photo frames. As you'll find out, along with the records, I also collect photographs of families I've never met. I love them as a little snapshot of time and, as I was rummaging through a box of heroin – sorry I should say, mixed bric a brac, I pulled out a frame. This frame fitted exactly a photograph I have been wanting to frame for quite some time. That probably sounds odd to the Ikea generation, but this frame was older than me, and the photo in question had been cut especially to fit this type of frame. It was free because I just put in my carrier bag. No, it was in a box marked 'free,' its price sticker crudely reduced to try and entice someone into taking it home. Nobody did, until I came along, as I was the right person to have it.
Even if you don't like to Womble a bargain or amble though the countryside, you obviously like to read. I'm assuming this as you got this far. Then keep your eyes open for the fairies. I was walking through central London recently and on the top of the button box for a pedestrian crossing, sat a book. It wasn't forgotten or misplaced, it was there as a gift, wrapped in ribbon and looking inviting. I glanced around to see if anyone had spotted it, looked again to see if it still existed, (I'd expected it to turn into a milkshake carton) and so I picked it up, eagerly eyeing the front until I could stop and study it more. It was donated by the Book fairies, a lovely group of random individuals who simply pass things on. I had no intention of reading this, but as I'd found it, I was obviously meant to, and like a kind fairy, passed it on.
So take off your headphones, discard any attention to your phone and have a look what you can see There's more to life than just a free voucher.