Belfast Telegraph

Rab's Week: How Rory's having a ball after his split

Welcome to the sideways world of our star columnist

By Robert McNeil

I wish to address my remarks today to young persons. Excuse me, I'm getting a message in my earpiece. I see. I should start the opening again. Oh. All right.

Yo, dudes. Like, whassup? I can't keep that up, so let me entice you with this prospect: I am about to give you some fatherly advice.

Security, bolt the doors! Do not let them escape. Okay, now that you're sitting uncomfortably, what is it that I have to say?

Thank you for asking. I wish to instruct you in the end of love. I don't mean that in apocalyptic terms, though I recognise it's a good title for a book that would almost write itself.

I refer, in particular, to the end of your first love affair. A surprising amount of people I know have only ever had one big love affair – that's her over there, 25 years later, trimming her moustache.

Perhaps that's a generational thing. I suspect not. Whatever the case, a fair amount of you will have to go through the uplifting and withering experience several times, but the first time is the most discombobulating. And when it ends, the world falls out of your bottom or, indeed, vice-versa.

I am minded to speak thus after reading about the experience of Mr Rory McIlroy, who plays golf for a living, but is otherwise of sound mind.

Earlier this year, he split up with his belle, Caroline Wozniacki, a fairly fit lass who also whacks balls for a living, though in her case it is tennis. As both their lives revolved around preposterous games, it seemed they were made for each other.

But, for reasons I am unwilling to research, it all went awry. Worse still, their denouement was played out in the pages of the public prints.

The whole thing must have hurt like hell. But now top experts are attributing Rory's recent high goal tally on the golf pitch to that very split.

See, there's a positive to every negative. I did some of my best work, and most heroic drinking, after splits with lasses.

Work holds you together. You hate it, but the routine reminds you that life goes on. If you don't have an actual job, you may wish to write or paint or volunteer. But doing things is the key. There is hope. Here endeth the lesson. Unlock the doors!

Wednesday: Stopping the middle age spread, it's wee buns

Flab news, and Aberdeen University scientists are working on drugs that send signals to the brain. These signals say: "Stop stuffing your face, will you?"

The boffins believe we start off life with said signals already functioning well in the brainlobes. But, as we enter middle age, they start to fade. Could be. My theory is that most people start off pretty slim.

Up to the age of 30, as long as they're not monster munchers of crisps and patisserie products, they can pretty much eat and drink what they want, without adding bulk.

After 30, every calorie counts. And your skin elastic isn't taut enough to hold back the blubber. But your brain doesn't take this in until you're 40. By which time you're getting into middle age and are more hippo than greyhound. But drugs won't cure that.

You just have to crank up the signal again: "That's enough buns."

Friday: Good lord, cronyism's alive and well

Let's have a peer at peers. I see the 'King of Bling' – jewellery tycoon Ranbar Singh Suri – has been elevated, as it were, an outcome surely unrelated to his donation of £300,000 to the Conservatives.

Prime Minister David Cameron has also sent Joanna Shields, a former boss of top tax avoiders Google, to the House of Lords.

You could almost start to lose faith in the fine old institution. At least Stormont speaker William Hay's elevation adds some credibility.

William has done a grand job in a difficult position and can at least say he was ennobled on merit. Not many can.

Saturday: Kate, don't reciprocate

Disturbing news that shy Kate Bush may have been inspired to return to the stage after Steve Coogan's cocky character Alan Partridge parodied her songs.

The content of Kate's forthcoming shows remain a mystery. But we can only hope they don't consist of her doing impressions of Mr Partridge. Ah-ha!

Sunday: Enough to drive you to drink

It can't be easy being a drinker these days. On the one hand, slipping bottles into the supermarket trolley has made buying booze simpler than ever before. But drinking the stuff is presented as the road to ruin.

The latest advice, warning or threat is that you shouldn't drink alcohol two days in a row. Of course, you can make this easy by drinking so much on the first day that you won't feel like any on the second.

But drinking too much is what, readers? Correct: binge-drinking. And you're not allowed to do that either.

Experts in bow ties have staggered forth to condemn this latest "nannying" of the lieges. But there's probably some sense in it, even if you reinterpret it as having at least a couple of days a week off.

I've never understood what's wrong with nannying anyway. Sounds all warm, cuddly and caring to me.

Monday: Love thy Neighbour? More like dodge them at all costs...

Clandestine antisocial behaviour is on the increase in Britainshire – particularly among neighbours.

More than half, in a survey by YouGov, would delay the moment they leave the house to avoid the folk next door. If you're in a hurry and they're chatterboxes, that's understandable.

But one in 10 had no interaction with their neighbours at all, so all they were saving was the need to encounter them without speaking.

Ridiculous. I speak to nearly all my neighbours, sometimes even waiting hours for them to emerge from their homes.

You can tell by their nervous tics how much they enjoy our little chats.

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