The sunny side of life

Having spent a reasonable amount of time, effort and money this year making sure that my back garden and patio area were of a standard that was appealing to the eye and practical to sit out and enjoy the summer in, I’m now of the opinion that my efforts were somewhat wasted.

Well, not fully wasted but I certainly didn’t spend much time taking advantage of my hard work due to the Welsh weather and work commitments.

So, back into the shed everything goes for the winter, in hope that next year will bring us longer drier spells and that much-loved sunshine.

I’m now starting to understand why I see so many people walking around, showing off the ‘fake tanned’ legs and arms – and the ladies are just as bad!

Even with sun factor 50, 30 min in direct sunlight gives me the look of a cross between a lobster and a cider-drinking alcoholic.

Some things aren’t meant to be and I am now accepting the fact that my legs will always look like two bottles of milk on the doorstep. Don’t hold on to that thought for too long though. Just sayin’ . . .


Time for a lifestyle change when the drugs don’t work.

Not often am I drawn in by a TV programme. However, documentaries, at times, can be rather compelling.

Recently, I stumbled across such a programme which even now leaves me thinking that the human body is a truly amazing yet complex and resourceful thing.

The programme on BBC 1, The Doctor Who Gave Up drugs presented by Dr Chris van Tulleken gave an insight into the world of our dependence of prescription drugs and the problems that many face with pain and depression.

Unfortunately, for the drug companies, they didn’t come out very favourably,  as evidence now suggests that profits are directly related to the nation’s dependency on prescription drugs.

Our GPs are encouraged to use certain pharmaceutical companies for a quick solution to the condition, rather than getting to the root of the problem, which quite often could be solved by lifestyle changes involving healthier eating and regular exercise.

We have become a nation of quick-fix-thinking couch potatoes. We want a solution which doesn’t take any effort or commitment.

I can hold my hands up and say I am guilty of this, too. Right then – let’s get started, I’m off for a brisk walk.

Valuable lessons I’ve learned on life’s road

People often say to me,“Phil! You’re no spring chicken. What valuable lessons has your long life taught you?”

To which, I reply, “Don’t be so cheeky!” and, “I thought I’d locked that bathroom door!”

So here’s the Top 10 things I’ve learned…

  • Always wear sunglasses in meetings. Everyone will think you are cool . . . and you can have a quick snooze without anyone knowing. But don’t snore in case you wake up everyone else.
  • If your restaurant meal was disgusting and expensive, your waiter should still be tipped. Over on his backside.
  • Never sit at the back of the bus. Or the front. Or the middle. Just don’t take the bus, ever. Because people travel on them. And people chew noisy sweets. And eat crisps. And shout into their phones such intellectual observations as “I’m on the ‘bus!” And worst of all . . . they talk to you. (Shudders) So be warned.
  • Never speak to people in a doctor’s waiting room. They’ll share all their ailments with you, from burst boils to wonky waterworks and bring down your mood for the rest of the day. And that’s just the receptionist. The patients are far worse . .
  • Never buy snacks and drinks in the cinema. They only do two sizes. “How much?” and “You’re having a laugh!” Instead, take cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and use the money you’ve saved to put a deposit on a new house . . . buy a car . . . and rent a villa in St. Tropez.
  • Never go food shopping on an empty stomach, because you’ll end up buying enough groceries to feed the Bolivian army for a year. And those boys love shopping!
  • Wear glasses if you get into a fight. They won’t prevent you from being hit, but you’ll clearly see the punches coming . . . and 10,000 stars.
  • Never argue with your boss, even if you know you’re in the right. Bide your time, gradually put more and more laxatives in his morning coffee . . . and lose the key to the men’s room.
  • Never joke in the queue at airport security, unless you have a fetish for cavity searches. And no plans for the next 10 years.
  • If you meet an old female friend who’s put on weight, never ask when the baby’s due. Unless you can take a smack in the mouth without crying.

I bet reading all this nonsense taught you a lesson!

Charity hero worth backing

I just love being around people who have the ability to get things done. The true doers of the world.

One of my local heroes this week is the amazingly enthusiastic Kayleigh Phillips, a shift manager at McDonalds in Cross Hands, who has a huge passion for supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

After three of Kayleigh’s friends used RMHC while their children were in hospital, Kayleigh became passionate about raising both awareness and funds for the charity, last year raising more than £3000 and already raising £4000 this year.

The first ever Ronald McDonald house is currently being built in Wales and it will provide free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families who have children being treated at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital and the neo-natal intensive care unit at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

It will cost more than £5.5 million to construct and £25 per night to accommodate one family . . . so every penny counts!

Kayleigh’s next fund raising event will be a comedy showcase by Phil Evans and Friends at the Tumble Workingmen’s Club on Saturday October 22.

Time to break out the blue suede shoes

There is a first for everything and this was certainly the case for me on Saturday.

Who would have thought that Porthcawl would be completely taken over by Elvis tribute acts, impersonators and people from all over the world who just like dressing up for the weekend.

This event may not be to everyone’s taste, but fair play to the organisers of this now huge annual success, the popularity is something that would surprise many.

I was a guest of a good friend and was open-minded as to what to expect, therefore a leap of faith was needed and in all fairness the whole occasion was an extremely memorable experience and, at times, extremely funny.

Well, with Elvis look-a-likes coming in all shapes and sizes (Welsh Valleys Elvis and Spanish Elvis were my particular favourites), what would you expect?

If you were there, you will know exactly what I mean. If not, make a note in next year’s diary as this event must be on everyone’s bucket list. You can thank me later.