Barlow's Beef: I can't tell you how tickled I am


'Clap along if you know what happiness is to you...'

I was so happy this morning when I discovered Cheshire East was the 'happiest place in England' that I booked a week's holiday... in Crewe. No point travelling to all those god-awful places like Cornwall and Devon when Utopia is in my back yard.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Britain as a whole Cheshire East drops to fifth in the 'Happiness Survey' behind some remote Scottish islands. Now, I'm guessing that was before the price of oil fell off the graph.

I don't recall Nicola Sturgeon crowing too much since petrol became cheaper than Buxton water. No great rush now for independence. In fact I would not be surprised if all those 'happy' people north of the border discovered a soft spot for Ms Sturgeon and dropped her in it.

Scottish folk must be looking down here at Cheshire East and wondering what made us so happy. It won't be long before someone tells them what happened to our political leader. They'll soon put two and two together and Braggart Nicola will never smell the tangle of the isles. She'll be out on her cromak before you can wave a sporran.

It's odd what makes people happy isn't it. Ken Dodd (the inventor of self-assessment) once said: "When it comes to measuring a man's success. Don't count money count happiness"

Granted he was talking to the Inland Revenue at the time.

Some people need no more than a walk in the countryside to be happy while others prefer a cash injection. We are all different.

One person's green field is another person's Local Plan.

Take George Osborne for instance. He has the ear of the Prime Minister, travels the globe, dines with world leaders and all he needs to keep him happy is a high-vis jacket and a hard hat. Give him a shovel to have and to hold and he's ecstatic. I've never known a politician spend more time pretending to be a real worker than George. I bet he's easy to buy for at Christmas. A blowtorch and goggles and he'll be happy as a welder on a pipeline.

So what makes us all so happy in Cheshire East? I'm guessing it isn't our council who have an uncanny knack of hammering local residents while capitulating like infants to the demands of big business.

Maybe it's our sense of humour that gets us through and the fact we don't take ourselves too serious. We're not bellicose, pompous or strident like many other regions. We know how to 'clap along when we feel like a room without a roof...'

Maybe, like Pharrel Williams, we're happy-daft.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlows Beef, Vic Barlow