AN APOLOGY. I’m sorry, really sorry (this is for friends and family, but other readers are welcome to have a nosy if you’re so inclined).
I didn’t so much forget you all this Christmas, as simply run out of time.
It’s been a problem all year in fact, even as long ago as February, when I told the blokes in the village pub I was getting golf club membership.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” they replied, “you said that last year. And the year before.”
“No, I mean it, because I’m planning to scale back to a five day week in 2018. Maybe even four.”
And then boom – waddaya know, the Big Birthday holiday is over and by the time I unpack my suitcase you’ll be reading this and my only Christmas shopping will have been at duty free.
The ceremonial tree? I’ll pick one up from Bartholomew and Quatermass (that’s B&Q if you’re a bit slow on the uptake – impresses the neighbours though, when they ask where we got ours).
Beyond that it’s going to be panic stations … hopefully there’s a turkey crown and decent piece of topside left in one of the supermarkets.
Christmas cards? Why do you think I started out with ‘sorry, really sorry’? I have loads, but they’ve not been written or sent.
As for the golf club membership … of course I haven’t, which is as much the point as my advance apologies to family and friends I don’t manage to hand deliver a card to.
All of that time off? Those five/four day weeks? Pull the other one it plays jingle bells.
True, we got down to visit Mrs L’s parents’ grave in Somerset, had a week in Croatia and we’ve bolted my Big Birthday holiday on the back of her business trip (her head office is Barbados – and no, this is tragically not a freebie) so I am really not complaining. Not for a minute.
My point is, those 10 months from February have disappeared faster than a politician’s promise. Blink, another year gone.
I swear – and I suspect there are quite a few readers who will back me up on this – every single year zips by twice as fast as the last.
Funerals? Don’t get me started. I wish I got to as many parties as I do wakes.
And this is the worrying thing – it hasn’t even been one of my busier years in business!
As things stand, 2019 is looking absolutely mad by comparison. If I thought about it too long, I’d probably start with anxiety and stress.
But do you know what? No worries.
Son’s graduated from uni and got a good job, daughter’s into her second year, both seem happy and healthy, and the wife’s still a right royal pain in the backside so she must be alright.
When I get home it’s a quick turnaround and back to Batley for our annual Christmas fuddle down at Zucchini’s.
For the 16th year in a row, a whole lot of familiar faces will listen to old Locky talk two minute’s worth of bolleaux at the end of the meal, raise a glass to us, and pledge to keep on keeping on, as long as we have an audience that wants us – which is you lot.
That’s Santa Lockwood’s Christmas message folks: this is no rehearsal, as your legs and your faculties slow down, so the clock and calendar speeds up.
So make the best of every moment, wrap yourself up in nice people and kind thoughts, and squeeze the joy out of every day you get.
And for all the family and friends who don’t get their usual card but are reading this – a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Lockies.
I’ll get sorted in plenty of time next year … promise.
BECAUSE I am now officially an old fart, I don’t need to apologise for forgetting where exactly in Europe a bloke had his court application to change his age rejected.
Not his gender changed from male to female, confused.com or possibly even from human to donkey – because that would be automatic these days – but his age.
Apparently admitting he was almost as old as me hampered his chances with the fillies on internet dating sites like Tinder and Sadbarsteward.com, so he asked the courts to let him knock 10 or 15 years off his age.
I haven’t seen a photo, so we’ll have to assume that he’s a keeper who actually looks 47 not 62, as opposed to a wrinkly old sod with a face like a slapped backside.
T’interweb fibs and a George Clooney profile pic just might get you a face-to-face meeting, but progressing to a spot of slap and tickle might prove a tad more difficult (and can I even say that any more?)
I do at least remember that Rip van Winkle’s risible age appeal was somewhere in Europe, because it was surprisingly denied – and I do hope the judge told him to grow up. If he’d asked the morons at Brighton & Hove City Council they’d have printed him a shiny pink birth certificate on the spot.
Brighton prides itself on being the Politically Correctest, gayest and greenest place in quite possibly the world. Not surprisingly, it’s where militant vegans recently stormed a Waitrose because as noble causes go, barricading a posh cooked meats aisle clearly ranks up there with battling apartheid, slavery and female suffrage.
Leave ‘em to it, say I, and if it helps to concentrate all of the ultra-weirdos in one place, all the better.
By the way, before anyone chooses to take those comments out of context, no, I am not criticising the lifestyles or the habits, just the fact that Brighton delights in parading such extravagances like a badge of honour, as opposed to just a fact of life to be gotten on with.
Take the decision of the morally bankrupt council to teach children that CIFs – (rhymes with ‘Rocks In Socks’ and yes, now I am getting deliberately insulting because someone has to) can have periods.
That’s right. As if growing up wasn’t confusing enough, these educational Nazis will teach impressionable youngsters – they could be your kids or mine – that males designating as anything other than male, can menstruate.
Forget the fact that it’s a physical impossibility, that’s beside the point. If you ‘want’ to menstruate badly enough then it’s your right to menstruate.
Forget that periods are the one fact of their lives every woman I’ve ever known would gladly live without, kids, if you want to tuck a tampon into your pre-pubescent y-fronts, go for it.
Tampon bins will be placed in all school toilets, so clearly there are no funding shortages in that neck of the woods.
It’s complete and utter insanity, so short of hammering out in capital letters a tirade of swear words that editor David Bentley will only have to delete, I’ll leave it there. Cretins.
I’M SORRY (part two) but Jeremy Corbyn is a particularly stupid man. Hands up anyone offended by that language?
If so, you’re free to go throw yourself off a high structure – try not to land somewhere that might impede traffic or otherwise inconvenience folk. You won’t be missed.
Fact 1) Corbyn really is stupid; you only have to look at his complete lack of academic achievement for evidence of that, even without judging the rubbish that comes out of his mouth.
Fact 2) He’s a man. Yes, even by Brighton Council’s warped standards, the beard is a dead giveaway. Ergo, 1+2= stupid man. Insulting perhaps, accurate indubitably.
Theresa May meanwhile might be certifiably cleverer than Corbyn but she’s still a stupid woman. Her litany of political misjudgements over the past 30 months testifies to the stupidity and though she has lousy dress sense, she clearly defines as a woman. Ergo, stupid woman.
So it says something at a time of national crisis that the entire political and media establishment had nothing better to do on Wednesday than get its knickers collectively twisted over Corbyn mouthing ‘stupid woman’ at May during PMQs.
Calling a woman ‘woman’ these days is sexist. Really.
The ‘stupid’ was presumably fine, but using THAT noun? Knock up a gallows and be quick about it.
Wow, folks. Wow. Is that really how low we’ve sunk? I guess it is.