Something a little different and lighter, for a Friday afternoon: In my twenties, when anxiety was not an issue, I tried to join the Royal Navy. I was so excited: reading feverishly about officer training at Britannia Naval College, and thinking that a life at sea would be my dream. Ultimately, I was turned down on medical grounds. I was pretty much crushed, for a long time. But fast-forward a little: A number of years ago, my friend Laura and I spent a couple of days on a boat -- just a little one, on the river ways in Norfolk. Being much more grown up and clever than myself (not to mention gorgeous, fabulous and fun), Laura was very much in charge. No question. And I was content with that. She even gave me a hat -- a white-topped peaked nautical cap, you know the type -- and throughout the jaunt, referred to me as "Admiral". After a while, over wine, I asked her: "Why Admiral? Why not Captain or Skipper?" She smiled her lovely smile, and explained that, in Naval circles, when a commanding officer was highly incompetent, and unfit to captain a ship, it was customary for him to be "kicked upstairs", given a fancy title and office, and not have any power or responsibility. "An Admiral is someone who does nothing useful, but poses on the ship all day long and pretends to be important -- and that's you," Laura said, her customary twinkle in her eye. Of course, some weeks later, I began to fret about the fact that I wasn't a "useful" individual -- fretting in a way that Laura would not have ever wanted. But that didn't stop me. [I still miss Laura. I'm happy that she found love and moved overseas to be with him, but a little selfish part of me wishes she were still here.] The point of these anecdotes, Buffy? The question is: Am I now regretful of my shortcomings? The answer is: No. Many years later, I'm content that I wasn't allowed to join the Navy -- And I'm glad that Laura liked to nickname me "Admiral" in her cheeky fashion. I am who I am -- insufficient in certain areas, not actually good at responsibility, and I enjoy a good time instead of over-exertion -- and I've made my peace with all these things. I'm alive, I have more cash coming in than going out, and I am [I think] a good friend to my friends. What more can be asked of me? But if I were to be brutal with myself, I'd say I was happily useless, in many ways. Being happily useless, however, in a spiritual sense, is better than being unhappily talented. That's my view. In the meantime, Admiral Buffy will grab himself a cuppa, and be grateful for the friendship, love and light in his life. I'd rather have that than a glittering Navy career, given an either/or choice.