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For some dreamy reason, I found myself thinking back to my youth on this humid and soon-to-be-stormy Missouri Friday night.

Weekends all those years ago, in pubs such as this – The Star Inn in Guildford, Surrey – revolved around getting very drunk with a like-minded group of friends. Most often on a Saturday night.

I suppose it was fun. Although I realise that much of the sport of those boozy evenings was to mask anxiety, boredom and a fear of the future. I had no conception at all that I might leave England and settle in America, find a home there and a sense of purpose that was very much lacking at that time. The future seemed very scary at that point.

Then a lot of things happened, many more by accident than design, that turned my life inside out and for the better too. Very hard things, some of them, but experiences to learn and grow from. I can adopt a sanguine attitude to my life today precisely because my personal storms occurred so early. You do get tougher. I am thankful for that.

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