Monday, December 20, 2004

Christmas 2004

2004’s Christmas letter from St, Liz, DJ ‘jamin and a student life-form. Start here…

Mmmm hello. You know you want it. Is that the Tilleys Christmas letter in your hand or are you smiling because you’re guilty? It’s not circular. It has no bird-like tendencies. It’s come to steal some of your life. Shall we give you a list of the edifying tomes we’ve read this year? Perhaps not. Maybe a portrait of the academic successes of us and our offspring? Not quite, but close. Possibly next year. A list of football injuries? Stand up Ben. Oh you can’t. Shouldn’t your ankle be lower down?

Did you win?
No we lost 5-0.
Did you play well?
Man of the match; guy I was marking never got a look in until the last five minutes.
What was the score at 85 minutes?
How many did he score?

We could tell you how many hours Liz spent in dirty stock rooms. We could list the gigs we enjoyed but who really cares about Earl Zinger and the Red Egyptians. Yes Steve we know you do but you only get one vote and they were the support act. We could list our doggy-sitting clients. We could tell you our favourite recipes but, lets face it, our finest achievement last year was getting into Simon Hoggart’s Guardian column. We think this paragraph refers to us:

‘One reason so many people get so angry about these letters – some can require 10 minutes of your life which you’ll never get back – is the amazing amount of detail they include. A long paragraph about the death of a goldfish.’ (Simon Hoggart’s diary, the Guardian, 3/1/04) Yes. We read the Guardian sometimes. There couldn’t be that many people who devoted a paragraph to the death of a fish last year. Sorry everybody. Silas remains deceased. We don’t think we made it into the book, ‘The Cat Who Could Open the Fridge’ a book of the worst bits of Christmas letters.

Most relatives and our guest pets have stayed chipper this year but the front wall is on its last legs and a number of our loose bricks were flung through a neighbour’s front window in a moment of what we like to call mindless vandalism but in Leamington Spa the mindless vandals are really very disappointing.

Ben. I can’t believe you two are still pleased to see each other after so many years.
St. Is it embarrassing?
Ben. No it’s impressive.
Liz. Ben, why do you still live here?
Ben. I’m trying not to.

Wrong number of the year, a new award since SMS messaging took over the world:

Texter: Tina, it to soon, am looking 4 a true relationship, not a quick shag. Im 33, so a bit 2 old, friends? terry, x.
St. Wrong number. Hope it works out though.
Texter: Wot?
St: You sent a message to someone called Tina but got the wrong number.
Texter: Oh i just realised, i was drunk, i must of misread number, i do apologise, thanks 4 letting me no, terry.

Random words to summarise year – leasing, promotion, Gozo, NEC, Aberystwyth, cookware, Alpha, guttering, vodsel, Harvey, Arts Café, Dining Club, Laithwaites, RAGGS, blog, Everyman, Loughborough, Madlib, The Shins, Glastonbury.

Single-handedly got the Somerville Arms into the Good Pub Guide. Can two people do things single-handedly? Go peel an apple in your head without breaking the peel, then let us know. And by the way the sound of one hand clapping is the ovation after one of Ben’s DJ sets. Yes dear I’ll put that philosophy book down now.

If you could put something in people’s ears to convert them to Christianity would that be a deaf aid of evangelism? Oops. In-joke from potential stand-up act.

On the way to visit Jon we stop at a café outside Welshpool. The full breakfast is not the biggest breakfast on the menu. That honour falls to the deluxe breakfast. The menu has an apostrofly – an apostrophe in the wrong place obviously caused by a fly in the printing process and not under-education. Here’s the thing. In this restaurant the apostrofly is pronounced. The waitress walks round the joint announcing ‘two breakfasties’ to the assembled throng until someone indicates it is their order.

‘Here’s the thing’ is a line of dialogue without which the West Wing would be ten minutes shorter.

There’s this horse called Yomarlo and Liz is in Cargo Marlow when someone suggests that they must put money on it to win the 3.10 at Wolverhampton. So they do. Responsible Christian woman bungs in a fiver and it comes in at 7 to 1. A new career is knocking at the door and hey, something good did come out of Wolverhampton. £35 = two rounds at the Somerville and lunch in House of Fraser café.

Totally objective method to grade your Christmas News Letters. The higher the score, the worse it is. Next year, please tell us who won.

Photograph too badly reproduced to add to our knowledge about you – 1 point.
Photograph of which you shouldn’t have been proud – 1 point.
Each half page of A4 over 2 sides –1 point. Each half page under – minus 1.
Holiday mentioned – 1 point.
Ruined holiday mentioned – 2 points.
Animal anecdote – 2 points.
DIY calamity – 2 points.
New disease introduced without humour – 2 points.
New disease contracted on holiday – 3 points.
Child’s achievement, musical – 2 points.
Child’s achievement, sporting – 2 points.
Child’s achievement, academic – 2 points.
Adult child’s achievement – 5 points.
Bereavement introduced without humour – 3 points.
Mention of words ‘round’ and ‘robin’ non-ironically – 5 points.
Letter from someone you don’t know – 10 points.
‘Well it’s that time of year again’ – 10 points.
‘Lets see what we did last year’ – 5 points.
‘Starting late again’ – 5 points.
‘Another year draws to a close’ – 5 points.
‘We’re sorry that we have to send you this newsletter’ – 15 points.
‘Hope we meet up in 2005’ – 20 points.

We have no idea what we did this year and you don’t care. We know you love us and that matters. If you don’t love us get off the mailing list and stop bothering us. If you don’t know who we are embrace gratitude.