Editor’s com­ment

Lancashire Life - - FRONT PAGE -

Sums was never my strong suit. Show me a page of num­bers and they would dance be­fore my eyes like mys­tic runes or the hi­ero­glyphs of the pharaohs.

My teach­ers re­sponded in two ways – some gave up on me and oth­ers shouted very loudly. Both meth­ods had merit but the end re­sult was the same. Utter baf­fle­ment.

To­day, so­cial work­ers and psy­chol­o­gists would stroke their beards (es­pe­cially the ladies) and tell me I had an ‘ism’. But back then I was sim­ply a numpty and all my equa­tions were left to quadrate with­out any as­sis­tance from me or my in­com­pre­hen­si­ble slide rule.

Words, ev­ery­one de­cided, were my only hope and, good­ness, there has been a lot of them over the last four decades, fly­ing first from good old metal type­writ­ers and then beaten half to death from pa­thetic plas­tic key­boards like this one.

With the aid of a pocket cal­cu­la­tor (I got the wife to show me how to use it) I’ve worked out that since slid­ing my am­ple rump into the editor’s chair just over 13 years ago, I have writ­ten this col­umn 158 times. (Not this ex­act col­umn, although it might some­times seem like it, I know).

With the av­er­age col­umn con­tain­ing 450 words that makes a grand to­tal of 71,100 – roughly the same as a typ­i­cal novel. Each month as I pound away at this drivel I imag­ine read­ers around the re­gion mut­ter­ing: ‘In God’s name, will he never shut up?’ Well, the sim­ple an­swer is – yes, I will. In fact, I have. Al­most.

By the time you get to my vac­u­ous grin at the foot of this col­umn, I will have de­parted, de­ter­mined to spend more time with my fam­ily and my fish­ing rod.

Af­ter 13 deliri­ously happy years at the helm I am de­lighted to be hand­ing over the tiller of the Good Ship Lan­cashire Life to my tal­ented col­league Paul Macken­zie. So, from now on, he is to blame. For everything.

I’ve been to many re­tire­ment par­ties over the years when peo­ple have talked about how ‘priv­i­leged’ they have been to do their job and, be­ing a cal­lous type, I of­ten thought ‘pop­py­cock’.

But the re­al­ity is that it has been a priv­i­lege to edit Lan­cashire Life. It’s as much fun as any­one can have fully clothed.

The peo­ple I’ve worked with over the last 13 years have been a joy – with one or two no­table ex­cep­tions – but the most mem­o­rable as­pect has been meet­ing so many bril­liant peo­ple. The peo­ple I’ve writ­ten about and the peo­ple I write for. So, thanks to you all for be­ing such great com­pany. I’ll miss you.

When I started this job, as a refugee from the news­pa­per in­dus­try, some­one told me I had en­tered ‘the cock­tail lounge of jour­nal­ism’. Be­ing a beer man, it took me a while to ac­quire a taste for cock­tails. But once I got the hang of it, I re­alised what I’d been miss­ing.

Now, I’ve drunk my fill, the land­lady has dimmed the lights and the bar­maids are anx­ious to catch their buses home. As for me, well there’ll be other bars but none quite as good as this one.

En­joy Life – I have!


Editor, Lan­cashire Life

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