Turning sixty felt like as good time as any to cast an eye back over my life; to review my successes and failures (sorry, learning experiences), my triumphs and defeats and take stock of where I am and how I got here. Such reflection quickly led to one stark and unavoidable conclusion: namely, that I am, and always have been, a bit of a plonker.

Such a revelation will come as no surprise to you, of course. What might shock you, though, is that, until now, I didn’t realise it. “What? He didn’t know he was a plonker? What a plonker.”

My saving grace, I think, has been my semi-posh accent. It means that people tend to think I’m clever, when, in fact, I’m not. Whenever my intelligence has been put to the test I’ve been shown to be as thick as a brick.

People also assume, because I speak proper, that I’m being ironic and self-deprecating. When I tell them, truthfully, that I’m intellectually challenged, for example, they laugh and think “how droll, what a clever chap”. It’s ingrained in our national psyche to assume someone with a public school voice means the opposite of what he or she is saying.

Even my wife, an undeniably intelligent woman, fell for my accent and decided it signified good enough stock to breed from.  This was a huge stroke of luck for me as I’ve been able to ride on the coat-tails of her success. 

You might ask why don’t I change. Sadly, like a leopard and his spots, I fear I’m stuck with my plonks. But you never know, self-awareness can be the first step and maybe, one day, I’ll surprise you all.

September 2022

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