A TALE of two men, both devoted dads. One, the father of two young girls; the other, proud pater of two grown-up sons.
One man left his Yorkshire home for work a week ago. While most of us were enjoying the sunshine of a glorious autumn day, he was below ground, grafting hard in a less-than-glamorous occupation for a less-than-glamorous salary.
By the time that Carlos Tevez had taken his seat on Manchester City’s bench for their Champions League match against Bayern Munich, 49-year-old miner Gerry Gibson was dead - suffocated when the roof fell in at Kellingley pit.
As Gerry Gibson’s family grieved for the man who had working in the mining industry for 32 years, the spoiled and overpaid Tevez was throwing his dummy out of the pram, according to national newspaper and TV reports.
Allegedly, he refused to take to the pitch as a substitute when asked by his manager. Just how many more of these ridiculous tantrums do we have to endure?
Sure, he misses his wife and two young daughters, back home in Argentina. Of course, he wants to be picked to start the match. But most of us could happily retire on what this man earns in just one month - week, even.
So Mr Carlos Tevez ought to count his lucky stars that he was born with a gift that pays handsomely. And be a role model to his daughters, to keep them grounded and grateful for the hand they’ve been dealt.
And be thankful that he didn’t have to be a miner.
* Merlin is the kind of TV series I think I ought to be watching. Medieval malarkey from days of old when knights were bold, and all that.
So why don’t I tune in? Because everyone, from the trailers and publicity I’ve seen, looks so young. So young, so clean, so clean cut and so pretty, even the mystical wizard himself.
In fact, he looks like the kind of shy, spotty, rookie police constable that makes you realise that you’re getting old. But it’s not jealousy of youth and beauty that keeps me from switching to BBC One. I want my Merlin to be gnarled and fiery, brusque and bearded, not looking like an X Factor wannabe, to whom this look will undoubtedly appeal.
I don’t want the costumes department working overtime to preen Morgana’s hair. Goodness knows, she would have had no access to L’Oreal products, even though she might have thought she was worth it.
* Some stories make you stop in your tracks, hunt down further details and marvel at the resilience of people for whom fate has not been kind.
Derek Paravicini is blind and autistic. Born 14 weeks prematurely, he survived when his twin sister died 30 years ago.
He can’t read music, or even Braille. But Derek, the nephew of the Duchess of Cornwall, has been given a phenomenal gift which he uses to incredible effect.
He has absolute pitch and can master any melody on Earth. He needs only to hear a song once and it is stored in his brain, ready to be played by his fingers at the piano. His nickname, not surprisingly, is the human iPod. Audiences thrill to his incredible talent and are amazed by his brilliance.
Yet Derek is classed as disabled, his brain damaged by birth trauma. If you’re feeling low, check him out on the internet - guaranteed to lift the gloom and cheer the spirit.