Twelve months ago the Arena Webteam commissioned a review of the first year of COVID as seen from the Minsh. At the start of another New Year, wearying of a never-ending procession of COVID warnings, masked balls(-ups) and distancing rules we have commissioned a tongue in cheek – or is that pronounced thung in theek – (go on, try to say it with your thung in your theek) review of some of the last year, trying very very hard not to mention the C......D word. This month we present Part 1, following with Part 2 next month if our correspondent is still at liberty.
Pro-Trump supporters stormed the White House and 5 died in the chaos. Encouragement from their idol contributed to his subsequent second impeachment. His successor, Joe I'm just Biden' my Time, was inaugurated 2 weeks later and immediately signed into law the USA's return to the global agreement to limit greenhouse gas emission. Removal of his predecessor from post had already achieved much of the hot air reduction, as a result of the "Donald" being banned from trumping, tweeting and Facebooking.
Here at home, having had Christmas and New Year cancelled, we were locked down again in early January for good behaviour. Global warming or torrential rain – choose any two from two – led to the Minsh being cut off from civilization (well Crewe and Winsford so perhaps not strictly true) in late January when the River Weaver yet again rose up again and proved to be revolting. The presence of road closed signs and deep water failed to deter some of Cheshire's Darwin award entrants, though thankfully none succeeded in achieving immortality. In the spirit of modern safe space wokeness blah blah do not read this link if you identify as someone likely to be offended.
As if there was nothing else important going on engineers at MIT announced that they had engineered spinach to send emails when detecting explosive materials in groundwater – read all about it – making one consider the link between Trump's hot air and US vegetable consumption. As they often say, Folks don't try this at home!
Your editorial team has had to dig deep to find non C...D related news, and we present this gem from our very own country: the ONS reported that the UK economy shrank by 9.9% during 2020, its largest annual contraction since the Great Frost of 1709. Shock horror – locking people at home and stopping the majority from working or shopping results in reduced economic activity! Bring on another expert!! Interesting facts about the Great Frost of 1709: chicken combs froze solid and fell off, bread froze so hard it took an axe to cut if (editorial thought – why bother, its probably quite difficult to bite through unless you are "Jaws" in the James Bond films "The spy who loved me" and "Moonraker".)
Early in the month Oprah Winfrey made "that interview" with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, one of the parties being referred to in a Times newspaper commentary as the Madonna of Montecito. Piers Morgan lost his ITV job after expressing some concern over the veracity of her claims following over 41000 complaints to the TV station. WebTeam view: if you don't like it change channels. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth expressed "concern" after hearing the Sussex's excess allegations and Buckingham Palace announced that the matter raised would be addressed by the family privately (i.e. Ginger be v careful visiting Windsor particularly if your grandmother has had the cutlery sharpened).
Towards the end of the month the enormous 400 metre long and 260,000 ton container ship Ever Given became wedged across one of the narrowest sections of the Suez Canal. Like most major cock-ups it will have been due to a progressive sequence of compounding errors which are well laid out in this New York Times report. Your correspondent sympathised with the Captain: "When Captain Kanthavel realized what was about to happen, one of the people familiar with the investigation said, the ship's black box recorded him uttering, with calm resignation, a single expletive."
News was in short supply in the Minsh, though the prospect of the Badger re-opening to outside drinking and dining in April was eagerly awaited ....
In the US 20 year old Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer who "mistook her gun for her Taser". Reference to this image may help those inclined to such confusion. Meanwhile our closest ally's leader "Biden my time" announced to the Taliban that their foe, the US Army, would be leaving Afghanistan by September 11th, thereby revealing that his bedtime reading did not include the "Art of War" a military treatise dating from approximately the 5th century BC. A large number of apposite quotes could be applied here but your correspondent thinks this one is particularly appropriate: "be extremely subtle even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious even to the point of soundlessness" – describing perhaps how the Commander in Chief might have proceeded but perhaps also describing his thought processes?
While the Aghan population uttered, rather like the Ever Green Captain, expletives, Buckingham Palace announced the death of the Duke of Edinburgh a few weeks short of his 100th birthday. Famously intolerant of fools or simpering hangers-on he was another man who was used to the effect of a short explanatory word and claimed to have invented the science of dontopedology – opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. No not literally, again don't try this at home..
In the Minsh the annual St Bart's plant sale raised over £10,000 in spite of poor weather conditions, the CM Golf Society advertised fore (pun alert) members and the Village Hall planned to re-open.
In international news the Argentine news channel Canal 26 reported that the English playwright William Shakespeare died after receiving COVID-19 vaccine. He did of course die, but in 1616, whereas the Bill Skakespeare she meant to refer to passed away of unrelated causes several months after being the second recipient of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
In the UK a new £50 note entered circulation and, like its 5, 10 and 20 pound cousins was "not vegan". In 2017 the Bank of England had spent a very precise £66,941 on a public consultation exercise into the use of animal fats in bank note production, announcing that the use of vegetarian sources of fats was too expensive and questioning atheir sustainability. Irrespective of the fat source used in the tallow required for bank note production, having taken medical professional opinions the Arena Webteam advise readers against monetary consumption as – "its just too deer".
Also in the UK, towards the end of June Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigned after pictures of him kissing an aide were published in the Sun newspaper. The "paper" dropped its usual prurient approach and took exception to the lack of social distancing employed in the clinch. Quite how the pair were expected to kiss was not made clear.
While the rest of the UK drove itself to a frenzy over such trivia, in the Minsh the Library Bus returned, Messy church restarted and plans for Minshull Madness and the mini Country-show were progressing.
to be continued next month ...
Page last updated: 12/02/22 14:26
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