Who Needs A Family When You’ve Got Friends? Oh, Sorry – I Ain’t Got Those Either!


It’s a real curse, isn’t it. Family, I mean. Harry and Meghan have my deepest sympathy because I know exactly how they feel. Here’s a royal saga that I can easily relate to. Only for me, it was the other way around. Instead of leaving my family, it’s my family who left me! You just cannot win anymore, can you. But as the saying goes, God gave us our family, we must thank God that we can choose our friends. Mmm! Friends who are prepared to rescue you from a broken down car on London Bridge at 3 o’clock in the morning, and don’t ask you what you were doing on London Bridge at 3 o’clock in the morning. You know what I mean, those sort of friends.

To cut a long story short, just as I was leaving my dreadful teenage years behind me, my parents decided to move from London to Memphis, and my brother crossed the Channel, never to come back. I was left stranded in the London Borough of Brent – and I can tell you with hindsight, that it was no joke.

The experience I went through did have the benefit of teaching me to play things safe. Having just one child solves the problem of his brothers and sisters doing a runner. As for friends, who needs those when you’ve got the Internet? I just have to hope that my car doesn’t break down in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night.

But do spare a thought for Meghan, poor soul. She’s having sleepless nights, roaming up and down the non-existent corridor of her Canadian bedsit, just wondering what to do about her child’s gran. Moving to Montreal is out of the question because she would have to learn a strange sort of French that not even I can understand. To cap it all, poor old Meghan would even have to look for a job – a real one that pays money. Unless she can scrounge off the in-laws. No, she wouldn’t dare, would she? Such a shame that she will have to cut down on the bodyguards and the stilettos, though.

I’ll be honest and say that I’m jealous. How I would love to pack my bags, buy a one-way ticket to Tibet, leave with nothing but a spare pair of trousers and a word processor in my bag, and write rubbish for the rest of my life. I can’t though, can I? For one thing, I can’t afford to be financially independent like Harry and Meghan. Not without actually working, that is. Plus, I’ve got this nagging feeling that if I were to do a runner, it wouldn’t be moral. The feeling that I have is called responsibility towards my family, and if I had an ageing gran who lived within quarrelling distance, she would be my responsibility, too. Being part of the family and all that stuff.

It seems, though, that going your own way is the order of the day. The Brits want to be independent from the EU, in the same way that Harry and Meghan don’t want to be a prince and a princess; so it’s au revoir EU, and bye-bye royalty. Sorry Gran, we just don’t care if you do live in a palace that you can’t mop-up by yourself, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Count yourself lucky because it’s a damn sight better than rotting away in a retirement home in Bexley.

But there are two other things that bug me. The first concerns ungrateful kids who live of their parents’ dosh, until well into their thirties, and claim to be independent, progressive, and people-helping. They could at least pretend to like their parents, and participate in household chores. The second relates to the incompatibility that exists between caring for the environment, and buying a season ticket to travel between Canada and the UK, even if it is on one of the greener airlines. The proper thing to do, of course, would be to use Greta’s surfboard.

But we’ll keep on loving you, Harry and Meghan, for the simple reason that we just keep on loving kings and queens, princes and princesses. It’s just all so very modern, progressive, and so much fun. Besides, what else is there to watch on Netflix?

We love you for who you are, Harry and Meghan, regardless of your family. Give our love to Gran.