One of the strange consequences of my returned cancer, is that I am still in the spiral of not sleeping very much and sometimes not at all. However, now and again I stumble upon a bit of a hidden 3 am TV gem. I talk of Eamonn Homes and his wife, who for some reason I keep wanting to call Judy. But I don’t think that is her name and I am getting mixed up with Richard Madley a one time impersonator of Sasha Baron Cohen, and his wife Judy Finnigan, to be fair Eamonn’s wife is called Ruth, and very nice she is too.
They made a documentary about the mega rich, so they interviewed David Sullivan one time porn king, and now seriously wealthy and living in a rather extraordinary mansion. It was simply adorned in very strange stuff, from huge chandeliers to artificial butlers who are actually works of art. He also happens to own West Ham United football club. You might also recall that he used to work closely with a certain Karen Bradey, now of course Baroness Bradey and stern faced critical judge on the Apprentice. I heard her speak once at an event in a nice hotel near Ross on Wye. This was at the time when she had recently taken over Birmingham City football club, I found her really good, sharp, tough, funny and engaging, she had a clear vision to turn the club around and she made it happen.
Watching the people in the documentary who were of course obscenely rich, they focused on the trappings of wealth, the toys if you like. Watches costing in one case a whopping 1.400,000 quid which was basically a huge collection of diamonds attached to a watch, it also weighed a tonne. I just wonder however how much stress you would feel if you actually wore the same watch popping into Morrisons, more stress than I would care to have if I am honest. Sixty billionaires have invested in sporting events, clubs, and teams, be that sailing, polo, horse racing, mind you I doubt that darts or arm wrestling would attract such attention. My own observation for what it is worth is that such money does not seem to bring those who have this cash actual happiness. It struck me as both hard work, and also demanding, with frankly not many of them really seeming to enjoy it. I have met many people who don’t have much money but seem happy enough and enjoy a daily life which is fulfilled and worthy. Do not get me wrong I do not begrudge these people, fair play to them for what they have achieved. But, it begs the question what is happiness and how do you judge it.
I recall a quote from the bible, that it is harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. When I was very young I used to think well needles are obviously tiny and camels are most certainly not, they are indeed very large as I discovered on a school cruise that I went on at the age of 9, onboard the cruise ship SS Nevasa. One of the ports of call was a stop over in Morocco, where one of the highlights was riding a camel and big, ugly brutes, they were as well, with a nasty habit of spitting at young school kids from England. So, as I reflect on my nearly 60 years on this amazing planet, I am of the mindset that wellbeing, and trying to be a better person than you used to be are what really matter. I have a long way to go in the trying to be a better person department, and I don’t believe for one second that I will ever be a wealthy man, if truth be told I never had any desire to be that person. The wealthiest person who I have ever met was Sir Brian Souter, I really like the man, and on the several occasions when I have met him and had decent conversations with him, he has real charisma and presence. But he is also as sharp as a pin and a man who does not suffer fools gladly, he does not flaunt his wealth in any shape, way, or form, indeed he donates greatly to causes close to him. Indeed it is interesting how some super rich people like Bill Gates suggest that they are motivated by giving their wealth away after all, when you make that much money its impossible to spend it anyway. First world problems for sure, but a problem methinks that will not burden the likes of myself, unless of course the lottery makes good. Although I cant really see the odds of that working to my favour…. will keep you posted dear reader chum, but let’s not hold our breath. Now, where can I get a camel?