If you’ve ever seen Gavin and Stacey and laughed out loud, or watched Stella and thought it was funny, it’s nothing compared to the real life humour of a Welsh family get together.
This weekend I returned to my home town for the first time since my accident.
Whilst Pontypool itself has changed an awful lot in the last 30 years, the people haven’t.
My Mum and Dad, my brothers Stu and Alwyn, my hilarious Aunty Rose and Uncle Denis, my crazy Aunty Gill and Uncle Mike, fantastic sister in law Mandy, cousin Del and the lovely Jo, my nephews Ben and Sam, my girls second cousins Ross and Lara, and my devoted Aunty Wendy, a few of their mates thrown in, and the very special Mike, Alison and Bethany, my own special girls, Lily, Amber and Dani ….. Well altogether that’s an unstoppable force and a ready made party.
Both Stu and I made speeches, though neither of us remember anything either of us said.
It’s quite clear that as a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a nephew, a brother in law, a cousin, an uncle or as a lifelong friend, I’m loved in this amazing group of people, and my injury has made no difference to how they feel, indeed now everyone is more open about their emotions, making the experience more moving.
Stu and Mandy hosted a great day and late night. It’s fair to say that none of us are strangers to the concept of a big night.
Thinking about my family, and particularly the males, I’m reminded that we have between us a pretty good sporting record.
Pontypool rugby team in days gone by was one of the best teams in the country, producing many a rugby legend.
Of those there on Saturday, 5 of us played for that club – my dad, my uncle Mike, myself, Stu and Delmie.
Stu and Del both played for Wales as schoolboys.
Alwyn skied for Wales for years, all over Europe.
Del and Mike are both black belts in judo.
Whatever sport any of us chose, we generally were fairly good at it, and the more physical the sport, the better.
The next generation have quite big boots to fill.
It has occurred to me that had we been flying on a family holiday, and the plane was hijacked in flight, God help a hijacker that had tried to subdue us 6 at the same time.