The Big Yin

by | Jan 25, 2024 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

Why is Billy Connolly so Windswept and Interesting you may ask? 

Born in Glasgow, orphaned by the age of four, and a survivor of appalling abuse at the hands of his own family, Billy’s life is a remarkable story of success against all the odds. 

his mother left when he was four, meaning much of the child-rearing was left to his Aunt, who belittled and beat him whenever they were alone. 

Ultimately, the joy of his adulthood outweighed the sadness of his childhood. The worst thing was that his aunt instilled in Billy a belief he was useless, and in his adult life it has been an enormous pleasure – and his greatest ambition – to prove her wrong.   

Billy discovered Charles Dickens by himself at age 12 and learned French from tapes. Everything he achieved in life came from the Library. And the key thing was: that he could make his own way in the world. 

Reading showed him that he could think for himself and that one doesn’t need to fit into the system like a piece of lego. That one can change the lego pieces to suit themselves. 

All he needed is the nerve to admit that he thinks differently from everybody else. 

Learning to play the banjo, he started playing the folk clubs which ultimately led him to make the decision of going professional. 

He’d work as a welder during the days and then two nights a week he’d go on stage as a folk singer. He would fill in the spaces between more established performs but he was funny which stood him apart from the others on stage. 

He discovered that blurting out whatever was on his mind could make people laugh. He never wrote anything down, never prepared for a show.

It was heart stopping to go onstage without having much of a clue what he was going to say but that’s what he’d always done.

He started trusting that he didn’t have to try too hard and he was just going to be funny. He realised that one can’t plan to make people laugh, but if one does it right, it just happens. 

Trusting himself to always produce comedy was an essential part of his self education. 

He only started feeling like a naturally funny guy over the years when he’d walk onstage for a three hour concert not having the faintest clue what he was going to say.

His ability to spin stories, tell jokes and hold an audience in the palm of his hand is what truly set him apart. 

As a young comedian he broke all the rules. He was fearless and outspoken – willing to call out hypocrisy wherever he saw it. But his stand-up was full of warmth, humility, and silliness too. 

He just seemed so intent on being joyous and loving life. 

The optimism of Billy can be infectious – he truly believes that there’s no such thing as bad weather; only the wrong clothes. 

He taught his children to like rain and to experience it for what it is. Rain is natural, it’s normal and rain can do one a huge favour. 

One example he gives was when he was on tour in Montreal, he was in his hotel room watching tv but he was bored and therefore went out for a walk. It was freezing as well as raining it down. The sort of rain that really hurts the face.

On his walk he decided to go into a pet shop and then went to visit the art shop next door and for some unknown reason turned up buying some felt tip pens and a sketchbook then he went back to his room and started to draw. 

In the past he’d never been able to draw but he started drawing crazy things which made him utterly engrossed with them. 

When he got back home he continued to draw and gradually got better. Now his paintings are exhibited and sold at various galleries. 

Even his health problems with hearing loss, prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease, have not kept him down long.

Having Parkinson’s disease has its drawbacks but Billy doesn’t take it too seriously. He believes that it could have been a lot worse and was expected to shake a lot more than he does. Once he started being funny about it, everything seemed better. 

His quote is ‘Shaky is the new cool’ and his theme song is Jerry Lee Lewis’ ‘Whole lotta shaken going on.’  

Billy is a man who has had an interesting life, he has travelled the world and met many people. He is an observer of people and has taken risks and chances. Some worked some didn’t. And for that reason, he is a unique man.

So, why is Billy Connolly so windswept and interesting? 

It’s not difficult to become Windswept and Interesting according to Billy – we just have to Be it. 

Then people will notice that we are. And once we’ve accepted it – and pronounced that we are – we’re all set. 

Being windswept and interesting is not just about what we wear. It’s also our behaviour, speech, our environment and an attitude of mind. 

It’s not about money, it’s more like a new religion. A new mantra concocted from our habits, hobbies or hokums such as ‘Blessed are those who yodel’ or ‘Hell is not for sinners; it’s for beige wearers as Billy likes to put it. 

It’s where we’re no longer obliged to behave with even a smidge of decorum. 

The only problem with being Windswept and interesting is that we can’t want it because we’ve blown it by wanting to be it. 

We have to be accepted as windswept and interesting by other windswept and interesting people – once it arrives in us. 

And when that happens we get to write our own rules. 

Here are a few:

We have to genuinely not give a fuck for what any other living human being thinks of us.

Say the first thing that comes into our mind and not worry about what might happen to us as a result

And tell our story our own damn way…

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