The title pretty much sums up the last few days.
One of my neighbours went into hospital recently with a very serious illness while another neighbour came out of hospital with a brand new bouncing baby boy.
Last night I heard the tragic news that my old music teacher had died. Bad enough you might think, except his passing wasn't of his own volition. He was brutally murdered at his home in Thailand. What The Times article doesn't say is how he was killed. The Scotsman and some of the other Scottish papers go into rather more gory detail.
You can see by the comments beneath The Times article how well he was thought of, especially by former pupils of my alma mater Lasswade High School. As I said in my comment, his was one of the few lessons that I remember vividly from school*. He usually taught classical stuff but for one lesson he spoke to us about The Beatles "Sgt Pepper's". He went into graphic detail about some of the meanings behind the lyrics, which was an eye-opener for me.
Sure, even then, we all knew he was gay but that didn't bother us. Whatever floats your kayak. RIP Sir.
(* One of my other favourite teachers was Sandy McLeman who looked, and acted, like Jeremy Beadle. He liked to blow up things, even his own pupils. We arrived early one lesson and we caught him putting some black stuff under the chair of one of the children's stools. As soon there was any pressure placed on it the stuff would explode. I may have failed Chemistry (twice) but I've never forgotten him.)
All this talk of Mr Crisp (and, yes, we did call him Quentin behind his back) rather puts into the shade my good news from today. At the start of December I put myself forward for three categories in the HBA (Hospital Broadcasting Association) National Hospital Radio Awards, namely Male Presenter of the Year, Best Specialised Music and Best Newcomer. Well, lo and behold, I found out this morning that I've made the shortlist for the Best Newcomer award. I was so excited when I saw my name on the HBA website that I could have burst! You never think, especially as a 'new kid on the block', that you'll do anything in these things but I'm dead chuffed. I did work really hard on my 5 minute demo over many weeks and it's harder to put together than you'd imagine. I taught myself how to do it on Adobe Audition 3.
One of my colleagues John Murray is up for Male Presenter of the Year and he's an experienced pro at this game. He has won awards and commendations before while I'm the virgin. The Gala Awards Dinner and HBA Conference are over the same weekend in Blackpool, at the end of March, and I only said I would go if I got nominated so the travel plans are already in full swing. Actually, having investigated the trains and buses with a back-of-a-fag-packet calculation I've decided to drive down. It's just short of four hours to get there.
Rumours that the nominees party bags will include a stick of a rock, a Kiss-Me-Quick hat and a Blackpool Tower snow globe are unconfirmed at this time! The Academy Awards it ain't!
Meanwhile, I'm still so crap at Tiger Woods 08 on the Wii that I'm giving great consideration to putting my (imaginary) clubs over my knee and buying something else. My average is about 83, which, as anyone with a passing knowledge of the game knows, is pish.