I was sitting on the train, looking out of the window all dreamy like, listening to bluesy ballads, when I felt the lift; life had an unexpected expansion of ecstasy when I thought of returning to the last two episodes of Shameless, series 5. It was a little epiphany, a reminder of the simplicity of my pleasures – this last week in June, a week before I move on to my 57th year in the world. Isn’t life strange?

Yes, truth is stranger than fiction. I mean, a work colleague said he didn’t watch the programme because it was too far-fetched but I love it because it stretches and skewers actual life into something so recognisable that it’s blunt enough to be an instrument of death. I have lived in estates like the one depicted in Shameless – I’ve lived scratchings of that life, without the drugs but including the drink and a lot of the sex though my sex-life was mostly spent on beds as opposed to banging off walls.

I am now in a more elegant and relaxing period of my life which cannot compare to that head-banging rampage that was my thirties, and watching this programme in catch-up mode sets me right back there – inside my head I’m feeling the insanity that I lived through then. That dreaming-on-the-train journey flipped me back and forth in time so that my old present head recognised the young me still inside. Her inside found it hard to accept the reflection of this old face in the window.

Remember how Ali McBeal sent us all wild? The imagination it took to present that show to us was immense: Shameless is our Ali McBeal. It doesn’t have the dancing baby and it isn’t set in the big-city-rich-sector but it has the magic of poking a finger into a life-style, shaking a bag and turning rubbish or ribbons into a white rabbit. Well, I’m still following this one and laughing right out loud most of the way at the twists and turns. I might be back.


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