Happy New Year to you all! Well that's the traditional greeting out of the way and I sincerely hope that the wish expressed turns out rather better than last New Year's attempt. The script for 2020 could have been written by a boxer of modest ability, repeatedly rising from the mat while hoping for the bell to ring, just to be knocked down again. Not good. Did you know that himself was a boxing champion at school – aged about 9 he thinks, and before he put on a growth spurt – strange the things that float to the surface of his memory banks while I dictate my blog.
Well after that stunning revelation (sorry he will keep inserting feeble puns) I want to congratulate all who completed the word-search I set last month. The answers can be seen here or follow this link to my homepage and open the Quiz section at the bottom. Well no-one emailed me to say they'd managed to complete our second offering – the Minshull Village Quiz. Maybe you were just shy? I'm not altogether surprised, as although even I, Madai, could answer some of the questions and most of the others could be found online there were one or two shockers there. A chance conversation while we were on patrol one day gave us the idea for the Clappersongs question. Thanks – we won't name you for fear of retribution! If you had read the "View from the Minsh" then you might have had a sniff of a chance at the Trump question – but then I had the advantage of lying under himself's desk while the quiz was written and also knowing something about his knigh'ts-move thinking. All the answers and some background can be found by following the same link, given above, to my homepage and Quiz section.
Like most of you, I expect, Christmas did not go according to plan: my cousin Tess was supposed to be visiting from Ireland together with the junior Leprechauns and their seniors, and the Hertfordshire youngsters and oldsters were meant to be coming to be entertained on Boxing Day. Well rising tiers washed away all that planning, so what was positive? Food and drink for 11 people was, with only the two of themselves and yours truly sat down for Christmas dinner. It wasn't just the table that groaned! If there are any trainee Labradors reading this, the trick is to stay close to your humans, particularly during carving times, rest your chin on their leg when sitting, and practice a mournful (as in my throat's been tied up and I'm starving) look. Don't be over-eager. Under no circumstances approach if dribbling or drooling as this does you no favours in the snacking department, quite apart from having to endure short rations while your mum's best dress is away at the cleaners. For the boys amongst you go easy if offered liquid refreshment from your people. Their demon drinks can cause over-excitement. Mounting Granny's leg might seem a good idea at the time but will later lead to a veterinary visit – yes, the one they've been talking about for you but haven't got round to yet. I'm told its not a ball.
So, here's hoping for better things in 2021: sit back and let your mind run while enjoying this stunning cover of Van Morrison's Celtic New Year.
Madai, your rovering reporter
PS: So as a final closure on 2020 we can turn to one of Forrest Gump's most useful phrases, but you'l need to turn it up loud and pay attention: Gump on 2020