There are rich pickings indeed in the Belfast Telegraph column that Gerry wrote over the years – Life According to Gerry. I delight in browsing through the articles and losing myself in the reveries that they offer. In each one, he leads me down various meandering paths that somehow get tied together at the end with a brief, wise and witty line. Yet even then, I scratch my head and wonder what it was all about.
Much like a highly entertaining conversation with Gerry, it can be something of a challenge to come up with a common theme, a binding thread. Perhaps despite my earnest efforts, I’m seeking the thematic equivalent of the holy grail.
His radio programme, the same. Had there ever been a plan or running order on any given day, the radio show itself would have born no reflection of it.
However, I persevere with the columns.
Perseverance pays, right?
On reading Life According to Gerry – Where have all the radicals gone? I think first of aging and invisibility – then I’m treated to disappearing bums, women in sensible shoes, and how he worried about “the smart ones” over-complying. We learn about the difference between being seen and being fancied – two wholly different things. But not entirely unrelated, it seems.
The birds and the bees, the horses and the bullocks
Perplexed as I am, my explorations bring me to another article – Neigh, neigh Woody, you’re only teasing – I’m hopeful for some form of continuation on a theme – what might indeed happen if the wind did happen to blow in your favour, so to speak. Well, in the animal world at least. I was doing fine until I pictured Jordan in the Crown Bar with a pint in front of her and Woody Allen standing outside with Brad Pitt. So much to process. But what I cannot unsee with my mind’s eye is the face of that poor tethered bullock… I can now officially say I know a shade too much about animal husbandry.
Of course, none of this in any way leads us on to the wonderful Gillian Anderson, and the two Vans. As you may already know, Gillian has become quite the centre of attention when comes to talking about things of a sexual nature, given her sterling role in the Netflix series, Sex Education. She has, on the back of that (no pun intended), reached out to women everywhere to compile a new book on women’s preferences, even their fantasies – read all about it here in Glamour Magazine. But like, Gerry, I digress.
In this particular Belfast Telegraph column by Gerry, she is lauded for her well-honed skills of perception in noting the happiness level of people in Belfast. It seems that Van Morrison does not register on this happiness scale, or at least one of him doesn’t, because, you know, there are two Vans, but I’ll leave you to explore that further in the article.
The parting word
As a finishing note, my goal in this post was to select perhaps three of Gerry’s columns for you and to tie them up in a bow for your perusal, neatly bound by a common theme. It was a simple enough brief, but it’s Gerry Anderson we’re talking about here – the ruminations of a sharp, witty and insightfully darting mind – so you wouldn’t know where he might take you… However, I do promise you’ll enjoy the trip!