Thursday, June 20, 2024


Nothing in life is free anymore or is that really the truth?

I found myself off my phone for a while and just scanning life, (I know right! Miracles do happen!) After a while, my obsession with “What is free” became a bit all-consuming – I became the “Martin Lewis – Smith” in my head!

Here are my findings (told you it became an obsession) :

  1. Toilet at the train station – 30p, in London 50p. (I guess the residents of the capital city are wealthier than the North but then the South knows nothing of scraps – although you probably have to pay from them now…It’s my Yorkshire blood)
  2. Simply getting on a plane to get away from the hustle and bustle.  Leg room, forward seat, away from the toilets, getting on quicker, a normal bag, parking, using the toilet, a glass of water!  You even have to do your own bag labels on some airlines – which is just a mystery and complication for me, with normally sticking said label to myself!
  3. Parking to support local business – How very dare you! £80 at first call.  £120 if you miss the 14 day deadline! I didn’t realise that “Loading” and “Unloading” apparently does not include buying stuff from local business.
  4. Book a cab. They will charge to drive to you and if you dare be over 5 minutes late – that is £3 A minute! (and I don’t do running!)
  5. Getting a trolley to do a supermarket shop! “Yeah we will need a pound to make sure you don’t run off with trolley, (which can’t be run off with because of that thing over the wheel!)  But don’t worry you can give money to charity to buy a token instead so you don’t need a coin! (I often wonder how much money those beautiful charities had to pay for this?)
  6. Waving goodbye to your better half on a train platform. That’s £5 for them to do that. They call it a “Platform pass!” (Like your tickets are not checked at least 15 times on any journey, including barriers).
  7. Wi-Fi. Don’t even get me started!*Worry not I’m getting to my point!*
  8. Please may I have a glass of water? 50p and it came out of the tap!
  9. The school requires your child to wear this uniform.  Here are the outlets to rip your credit card to pieces! (because the image seems to be way more important than the lessons! – Don’t even get me started on school trips – I would go on forever!)
  10. Carrier bags! My bottom draw is worth more than a Wednesday lottery draw!I’m not on a rant BTW – We will get to the point soon…I think it’s worth the wait! (But of course I would! Lol)
  11. Go to the library to read and expand your mind.  Return it one day late? You are screwed! (begin the fine – you are a criminal!)
  12. I am a smoker (I know I’m like the devil!) – Thanks Bradford station for removing anything that I may be able to put out said cigarette and with signs saying “If you drop a cigarette you will be fined £80″.  £80 – Just greed!
  13. Travel faster down this road (its a new road and a quicker route anyway!) And get to where you are going earlier.  Here is the charge….Pay for the simple things right? However break said speed limit and…….

I promise not to go back to carrier bags!  The list goes on and on……..

But the winner of greed, unkindness and unthoughtfulness goes the parking company who run the disabled parking bays outside the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guilford, Surrey.  I’d like to congratulate you on charging disabled drivers £4 a day. Take a bow whoever attended that meeting and took that decision. Hold your head in shame!

But!  Yes here comes the but…(if you’ve been reading my last few posts you’ll know I love a “But!”)

  1. Smiling at someone – Free!
  2. Having a conversation with someone – Free.
  3. Saying thank you – Free
  4. Can you help me? – Free
  5. Can I help you? – Free!
  6. Tickets to the greatest shows on TV – Free! (Yep that’s still a thing!)
  7. Time – Free
  8. To think of another – Free!
  9. A hug – Free!
  10. To love and deeply care for another – Free
  11. Step outside yourself for another? – Free
  12. Stand up to someone making another feel small? – Free
  13. Giving up your cab/ Train seat/ Bus seat, to somebody who needs it more? – That’s Free!
  14. Leaving a note to someone – (Minus the pen and paper, I guess you gotta pay for that bit!) – Free!

Now I’m not saying  we should all become Mother Theresa but I have learnt a massive life lesson around mental health – mine in particular! When we freely give our self without expectation or gain, we actually become free of the very thing that rolls round in our head with the weight, pain and loneliness of what’s called “Mental Health!”  We can unlock the pain for a while and rather anxiety, over thinking and self-hatred, we can turn the corner and release the weight.

Try it.  Trust me it works and it’s the greatest gift in life.

I also experience much kindness and love from friends and family that constantly changes my day.  I know what it is like to also be on the receiving end of selfless kindness! It’s breathtaking and freeing.  It’ is simply beautiful. Actually it’s life changing.

So What’s Free?
You are!
Be Free – it’s the greatest gift in life!
And the cost? Nothing!

Yup that cost you nothing, however if you need a carrier bag I’ve got so many!


Ian Royce
Ian Royce
Warm up comedian to the biggest stars and shows in the world, I've travelled the world on both private jets and ferrys! But that's not important, the importance is I've been to hell and back, faced suicide and the greatest highs in life. I am honest to my core, wear my heart on my sleeve, and not ashamed to say sometimes I struggle

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