ARE you fed up of being terrorised every which way you turn lately?
If it isn’t cowardly Muslim madmen trying to kill our mums, wives and children while taking their sick shortcut to hell, it’s politicians of all colours trying to paint one other as the second coming of Satan.
‘Vote Theresa and she’ll finish the job of starving the benefit classes to death’ … ‘vote Jeremy and at least he’ll make sure every other bugger’s bankrupt too’.
At least the Lib Dems with their call to legalise cannabis would sink the nation with a glazed smile on their faces – probably the fall-out of watching former leader Charles Kennedy (the last of their tribe to have looked real life in the face) drink himself into an early grave.
Let’s leave them all to to it for a few days, eh?
Despite the first week of June doing its best to wash the summerly smiles off our faces, I’m going to use today’s column to outline some positive plans for the all-too-brief, brighter months ahead – things that I can control, whoever’s hanging the new curtains in No.10.
My son graduates from the University of Leeds next month, while his sister starts at York St John in the autumn having worked a year after finishing college.
They’re not growing up – they have grown up, and who knows what the future holds?
By this time next week I promise myself to have booked a sunshine holiday somewhere big enough for them to come over and each bring a friend.
And let me tell you – for a bloke who develops the shakes and sweats when he gets cornered into buying a round of drinks out of turn, that’s some commitment.
Still, at least it’s the ‘big spend’ out of the way!
On an unexpectedly sunny day – we usually get one or two per summer, usually a Tuesday or Wednesday – I’m going to phone work and throw a sickie (aka ‘a boss benefit’), coerce Mrs L into doing the same, let Arthur leap into the back of the motor and head over to Hunmanby Gap.
If you haven’t been, Hunmanby is an easy-to-miss turn off the Bridlington-Filey A165 road. It’s nestled between Primrose Valley and Reighton Gap (Reighton is the site of the Lockwoods’ first and last family holiday. My dad never came with us again, but my little sister won’t remember much about it, given that in family lore it’s where she was conceived!)
Anyway, Hunmanby is a huge, dog-friendly beach, with a pleasing little cafe just below the car park, and you can wander miles in either direction to your heart’s content. Arthur makes more mates in a couple of hours than the entire Tory and Labour front benches could muster in a month.
It’s good for the soul – both having a dog and filling your lungs with the fresh sea air.
Go on, be daring … take your shoes and socks off and have a paddle!
Popping down to Bempton Rocks and Flamborough Head afterwards won’t harm your frame of mind either.
This summer I’m going to promise myself one or two other little inexpensive treats. I’m going to take wife, dog and a picnic up Sutton Bank. I’ve never been and I hear the views, especially the sunsets, are spectacular.
Time waits for no man – what have I been doing all these years?
I’m going to return to Ilkley Golf Club for a knock, having reviewed it recently for Yorkshire Golfer magazine. For fellow hackers, if you haven’t been, on a nice day it’s a little piece of paradise alongside the river Wharfe. Tell them Locky sent you.
If I can grab a day or two of the kids’ weekends, I want to tick a couple of nostalgia boxes too.
They’ve lived in York for coming up nine years – what was that about time flying? – and whatever my various experiences working in Dewsbury and Batley on a daily basis and witnessing some of the radical social upheavals in that time, their memories are universally joyous childhood ones.
I can’t remember the last time we wandered round ‘Grandma Park’ – Crow Nest Park – which my mum would take them to daily, when she was their primary carer.
We should pop down to tend to her grave too, maybe have an ice cream at Charlotte’s in Whitley and finish off with tea at Sammy’s – the Samarkand – in Heckmondwike. They haven’t seen their ‘auntie and uncle’ Julie and Sammy Laher for a while.
My lad will insist on getting an extra half tandoori chicken to bring home.
I need to make more time for old friends. In fact I’ll book a train ticket today to go visit my mate Sheila in London next week. She’s in the middle of some lousy medical treatment – the girl could probably use a nice glass of vino collapso and some company.
And with that in mind, there are one or two ‘lapsed’ friendships that could probably use a reboot. Not my fault, I’d say – not necessarily anyone’s – but someone has to pick the phone up, drop an email or text first.
Sometimes, like now as I write with the clock ticking towards 5am on one of those tossing and turning nights when sleep goes walkabout, it strikes you just how fleeting life and its opportunities are.
I’m reminded of the wonderful movie Dead Poets Society, and the late Robin Williams’s quote to the young men he teaches – Carpe diem, boys, seize the day.
Because actually, whichever set of inconsequential numpties we’ve put in Downing Street today, your life and destiny, your capacity for fun and love and friendship and using your time well, is entirely in your ownership. It is your own precious gift.
So far as I’m aware, no one’s discovered how to tax a positive frame of mind yet (which isn’t to say they won’t try). So go on folks, force a smile on that ugly mush of yours...
I HAVE sad tidings to bring regarding the passing of one of this district’s greatest sons, Mr George Carrigill.
George, who was a friend to so, so many people, passed away peacefully in Dewsbury District Hospital yesterday with his family at his bedside. We will publish a full obituary and tributes to George, the founder of Carrigills Bookmakers, next week. By the time we heard there simply wasn’t time to do his life and legacy justice because we could fill a paper with some of his hilarious exploits. For now, suffice to say that a lot of people’s thoughts and prayers will be with his wife Edith, children and grandchildren. God bless, George.
A TERROR-FREE zone then this week, but room to praise a man I so recently criticised, Kaushar Tai, and the mosque leaders who came out last week to lead condemnation of the latest attacks.
I’ve received two books recently, the excellent Douglas Murray’s ‘The Strange Death of Europe’. Read it and weep. The other, by the far less enlightened James Fergusson, is ‘Al Brittania My Country – A Journey Through Muslim Britain’. For my sins I gave Fergusson a ‘Locky’s Tour of Dewsbury’ last year. When will I learn?
When I tell you The Guardian loved his book while the Sunday Times ridiculed it, you’ll get the picture. Fergusson was puzzled when I blasted him on social media. Here’s why: Apart from breaking a confidence, this ‘journalist’ (who doesn’t take notes) thinks that our mucky fat delicacy is lard and contrived to misquote, make up or misrepresent virtually everything I said.
How can you trust a word such a man writes?