This much I know...

It's traditional for the elderly to impart some of their experience, insight and wisdom. At the age of 36, this probably shows quite how far I have to go... :)

In the arts, it's much easier to be nasty than to be nice.

Just because I can write, it doesn't make me a writer.

There's usually time for another drink.

The only one of my top five movies I can name with unshakeable certainty is Mary Poppins. Does this mean it's my favourite film?

Exercise rarely feels as bad as you feared it would.

Maureen Lipman was wrong. Sometimes you should just shut up.

Pop is not just business, it's art.

It might have sounded profound, but you were probably just drunk at the time.

There's nothing quite like the stage.

Most people say they care about the environment far more than they're actually prepared to do enough about it. Me included.

Saying yes can be scary. I still haven't worked out how to get it right.

I far prefer female vocalists to male ones.

I'm a romantic at heart - which could be why I'm so reluctant to risk it.

It's difficult not to let people down. But try not to make a habit of it.

Smiles make you feel better, especially if they're your own.

You never truly know how loved you are. There's always that little bit more hiding down the back of the sofa.

Yellow cars are surprisingly few and far between. Appreciate them when you can. Sometimes they come with two legs rather than four wheels.

Stressful situations exist for sure, but how you react to them is up to you.

Life without the familiar can be more frightening than death.

What's the point of having money if you can't share it around? A lesson for individuals and governments alike.

If Jed Bartlett had really been President, we'd still be in this mess.

Fiction is more likely to make me cry than real life. Should this be cause for concern?

Politics is broken. But was it ever really working?

Whatever you think you know today, in five years you'll realise just how naive you were. This never changes.

I'm quite happy to be proved wrong.


Return of the Badger

I made no secret of the fact that Sam Allardyce's appointment didn't have me turning cartwheels. The style of play he encouraged in Bolton and his fondness for thuggish, borderline sociopaths (Mr El-Hadji Diouf to name but one) was not something I wished to see reproduced at my beloved St James' Park.

That said, I was willing to see what he could do at a club with greater resources than Wanderers; give him time to work. Which is more than the new owner was prepared to do.

So once again the Magpies foolishly found themselves without a manager just a matter of months into the season.

Hopes for some big international name were bandied about, along with just about anyone who's ever coached in the Premiership, as well as some who haven't. The arguments against Shearer taking over are well-worn. Let's just say I worship the man as a centre-forward, but we both know he's not ready for the job.

For a while it looked like we 'ad 'Arry Redknapp - a man I regard as the Deep Blue Sea to Big Sam's Devil, perfectly good at what he does, no disrespect, but more attuned to a club the size of Portsmouth - but I was able to breathe a sigh of relief when that turned out to be another crock of Red Top.

Which was exactly what the rumours of a Kevin Keegan Komeback smelt of - until, at just before five this afternoon, the club announced that was exactly what was happening.

I've no idea whether or not bringing back the guy who made us exciting nearly-men is a good idea (although it does save us from the prospect of hiring Mark Hughes or Steve Bruce, at least for the time being) and goodness knows I'll find plenty to say about it in weeks to come, especially now I have reliable internet access at home for the first time in months.

But for now, I'm speechless.