Monkey Magic: The Rebirth of Brother Jim


It is almost two years to the day since you passed away brother Jimbo. The legend that is or - reluctantly - should I say was James Edward Best aka the UK’s most prolific Gingerbread muncher, aka my absolute hero; you continue to provide me with a deep sense of inner strength dude.James Best in Portugal

It’s been a roller-coaster ride bro. After the gut-wrenching ordeal of the court case, I escaped the UK to venture on a journey of discovery to mother India. So far, I like what I've found.

In the south, I was based in Tamil Nadu where I followed in the footsteps of the great Mahatma Gandhi. I just stopped short of adopting the loincloth though: I never had the knees for such a garment as you are well aware. Marco Pollo had been kicking around with some Mongolian princess 700-odd years beforehand, and in more recent times Martin Luther King visited the region too. Now Owen Daniel esquire can be added to such a list of giants.

I was waking up at 5.30am each morning to punish myself with an hour-long yoga session! I know - WTF, right? It was cool though. I figure if it’s good enough for the Welsh Wizard that is Ryan Giggs, it is good enough for me. Six weeks in and I finally touched my toes today for the first time in three decades, I'm basically at border-line yogi-master level now.

Thesedays, I’m up here in northern India - in one of the most peaceful and spiritual places I've ever had the pleasure to visit. The people here are wonderful. I’ve dabbled in meditation, I think - or didn't as the case may be. I’m reading about Buddhism. Writing some ‘news shizm’ (industry term). More importantly, for now, I’m about to teach Intermediate English Grammar for fudge sake! I know… shocker!

While I sit here on my balcony writing this, my beautiful view is obscured by a thick mist. My head is quite literally in the clouds here James. The other morning I was doing yoga, as you do, and I could see rainclouds both above and below me. Trippy man, real fucking trippy…

Suddenly I heard a rustling behind me, I look behind and this massive red-bollocked monkey is eating an apple he’s stolen from the neighbours’ room. His little mate, who bears a cunning resemblance to Peanut (aka Ben Curtis RIP) actually, follows suit and chiefs an apple too. As I fumble for my camera, it dawns on me that I was only discussing reincarnation today with some Buddhist monks, and here are two livid monkeys vaguely resembling you and Peanut (back in the day) on a wild rampage! I wonder if you’ve both got reborn as Indian monkeys and came to grab a bite to eat with me.

On the off chance that’s all a load of red-monkey-balls; I got the gun in case they come back. You’d love it here though bro. I’d love to have been able to travel with you, especially right here in India. That said, I do take you everywhere with me. You’re in my heart and soul my man. You’re in my thoughts frequently. I still feel your influence. I love you brother and miss you dearly. So much left to say, so many words left unspoken. Hope you can read this. Rave in Peace bro x.

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