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Dan Morris: OJ on his soapbox and quality time inspired by The Queen

This week, Will Smith's slapping of Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards has been the subject of much debate.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh

Luckily by Tuesday we were able to lay the matter to rest, as none other than OJ Simpson chucked his two penn'orth into the mix and made a ruling that Smith's behaviour was “wrong”.

Thank God. Here we were waiting for Pope Francis to make a judgement call on the matter, but no need now – another indefatigable paragon of morality and virtue has pronounced on the subject. We can all sleep soundly in our beds once again.

Commenting on the incident, Simpson said that if he had done a similar thing in front of “a billion people watching around the world” he would have been given life in prison.

I'll leave that one with you...

Elsewhere this week, Westminster Abbey hosted a dignified memorial service to celebrate the life of the Duke of Edinburgh. In stark contrast to His Royal Highness's funeral – held last year amid Covid-19 restrictions – the abbey was awash with attendees, all paying tribute to the great, colourful, opinionated and passionate man the Duke was.

In the happiest of sights (though it was still bitter-sweet) Her Majesty was seen surrounded by close family – again in stark contrast to the heartbreaking photograph that last year showed her sat distanced from others, grieving alone at the funeral of the man who was her soulmate and strong right hand for nearly 74 married years.

To be a partner – in any sense of the word – to someone for that amount of time is an incredible achievement, and is probably difficult for most of us to imagine. It certainly is for me.

I have people in my life that I'd be proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with for seven decades – even hundreds or thousands of years if I were able. Yet standing at 34 years of age, I am in awe of those husbands, wives, parents, children, siblings and friends whose love, respect and affection for each other has built bonds that are twice as old as me and have only grown stronger with time.

At the moment in the Morris world, I'm trying my best to spend as much quality time as possible with my nearest and dearest, hopefully making the most of every minute.

This is not because of any 'ticking clock' or anything dire, but probably because when you see people who have lost – from neighbours whose loved ones were taken by the pandemic, to The Queen who was parted from her husband – it often gives you a kick into appreciating what you have.

As the great Jon Bon Jovi once said, we've got to hold on to what we've got. If more philosophers of days gone by had delivered their pearls of wisdom with a killer 80s mane, I'm sure a greater chunk of the masses would have taken heed of their words.

For me at the moment however, making the most of every minute is not involving grandiose expense, gilded gestures or over-the-top days out designed to show Instagram how much I supposedly care about somebody rather than the actual person.

It is instead consisting of laughing with my other half over a board game at the end of a day at the grind, and smiling with my father over a bottle of lager or ten as we admire the shine he has achieved on his camper (you could shave in the reflection you get off that thing; it's absurd).

Simple but genuine quality time. That's what life is all about – not proving to faces you've never seen how much you love those close to you or that you and yours are always having the best time on the planet ever.

Don't get me wrong – if you want to climb mountains, save forests and see every corner of this wonderful world with your nearest and dearest, then with every beat of your heart you should crack on and do it. But do it because you want to, not because you hope strangers are going to be jealous of your photos.

I hope you've all got some lovely stuff and plenty of genuine quality time lined up for this weekend. The weather's looking pretty ship-shape up my neck of the woods, so before said quality time truly begins, the first battle of the year with the hedge trimmer and the garden shears is due to commence. Hopefully this can proceed without the loss of any fingers. If next week's papers are littered with typos, you'll know that I fought bravely and valiantly, but alas was soundly defeated.

Wish me luck folks, and happy April.

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