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Happy 2012!

Well, here's wishing you a very happy New Year, oh denizens of livejournal! May it be one of good health, happiness, fulfilment and success for all of you.

I spent the last hours of 2011 chez moi, having a splendid time in the company of the lovely ms_siobhan, planet_andy, a roaring fire, some silly games and a great deal of champagne and canapés. At the start of the evening we played a QI board game which I'd got for Christmas, and all agreed that the best thing about the game by far was the red plunger-button that came with it, and which made the sound of the dumb-obvious-answer QI klaxon when you pressed it.

By the time we'd finished that, we were ready to move on to this year's death and scandal lists. We did quite poorly last year - on the scandal front, George Osborne did have to look a bit contrite about his cocaine-snorting habits, but still seems to be resolutely in-post. On the death front, Jimmy Savile (whose name I see I spelt incorrectly last year) is of course no longer with us, but that seems to be about it. So our approach this year was to take a scatter-gun approach to the death list in particular, basically just shoving anyone who is getting on a bit on there, along with a scattering of wild-card younger types. We typed it up directly this time, rather than scrawling it on bits of paper, so here it is exactly as we produced it last night, complete with our wild veerings backwards and forwards between celebrity entertainers and foreign dignitaries:

Death list
Mrs. Thatcher
Prince Philip
Barbara Bush
George Bush senior
Bruce Forsyth
Pete Doherty
Bill Wyman
Woody Allen
Geoffrey Howe
Chris Patten
Michael Heseltine
Dennis Healey
Dennis Skinner
Christopher Lee
Fenella Fielding
Brian Cant
Jimmy Tarbuck
Ronnie Corbett
Gordon Kaye
Paul Shane
Benedict XVI
Nelson Mandela
Desmond Tutu
Harry Gration
Dora Bryan
Joan Simms
Joan Collins
Jackie Collins
William Roach/Ken Barlow
Barbara Knox
Freddie Jones
June Spencer
Sarah Mills
Tracy Emin
Ray Harryhausen
Kirk Douglas
Tippi Hedren
Jane Fonda
Roy Chubby Brown
Jimmy Tarbuck
Yoko Ono
Cynthia Lennon
PD James
Terry Pratchett
Colin Baker
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi
Hosni Mubarak
Silvio Berlusconi
Basjar Al-Assad
Roger Moore
Stewart Hall
Rose West
Ian Huntley
Ian Brady
Cliff Richard
Lenny Bennett
Martina Navratilova
Billie Jean King
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Keith Harris
Helen Mirren
Dame Maggie Smith
Princess Michael of Kent
Bernard Ingham
David Owen
David Steel
Esther Rantzen
Ozzy Osborne
Ray Reardon
Paul Daniels
Rupert Murdoch
Ian Paisley
Peter Robinson
Paul Dacre
Nicholas Parsons
Ann Leslie
Alan Rickman
David Walliams dies of his own smugness
Jeffrey Archer
'Happy' Leonard Cohen
Cilla Black
Fidel Castro
Robert Mugabe

On the scandal front we have been more restrained, and also much more specific. We reckon the rule is that we can cash in if any scandal affects the people listed, but that we get bonus points if it happens as we have envisaged:

Scandal list
George Osborne - drugs, cross-dressing or prediliction for black prostitutes.
Boris Johnson's decathlon of Olympic love-children and / or free bikes revealed to be secretly sterilising the population of London.
Chris Huhne turns out not to have passed points to his wife.
Jeremy Clarkson turns out to be secretly a nice guy, but he's been paid to say outrageous things by the oil companies. Has solar panels fitted to his house and buys an electric car.
Simon Cowell attempts to rig votes on a rival show, e.g. Britain's Got Talent, and then expose them.
Jeremy Kyle goes back to gambling and / or is accused of domestic violence.
Hu Edwards has just been doing a Welsh accent for a bet.
Generic over-paid footballer in sheep-shagging incident.
Victoria Beckham turns out to be an animatronic robot.
The Nazis did go to the moon - they've been waiting for the right moment to tell everybody.
Kate McCann admits guilt.
Sarkozy and Cameron in three-in-a-bed romp with Angela Merkel.
Fearne Cotton disappears dramatically, and is found three months later wandering the streets of Buenos Aires.
Toby Young absconds with money intended for a free school.
Nadine Dorries turns out to have abandoned an unwanted baby outside Tescos as a teenager.
Michael Portillo and Diane Abbott caught in flagrante delicto.
Justin Bieber turns out to be ten years older than he claims.
Sarah Ferguson gun-running for Colombian drug-lords.
Prince Andrew gun-running for their rivals.
Entire Tory party caught dressed as storm-troopers at autumn conference.
Tories pull Britain out of Eurovision.
Ian Hislop turns out to have hacked people's phones in order to track down information about phone-hacking.
Prince Charles caught polishing the wood under the rug at the top of the stairs in Buckingham Palace.
Bear Grylls caught with pre-packed curries in his back-pack.

By the time we'd done all that it was pretty much midnight, so we got out the Piper-Heidsieck champagne, watched the count-down with Big Ben on the telly, and toasted in the New Year to a stereo display of London fireworks on the telly and local ones outside the window. After that, we turned our attention to sillier games - principally ms_siobhan's Spongebob Squarepants clam-catching game, which is chuffing brilliant, especially after a few glasses of bubbly, and prompted much laughing, shrieking, dastardly cheating, and exclamations along the lines of "I've put it in a different hole!" (as, of course, the Bishop said to the actress). Here are ms_siobhan and planet_andy locked in a deadly clam-catching duel:

Then it was on to Jenga-with-the-giggles, playing with a remote-controlled Dalek whose failing batteries made him seem comically elderly, and plotting possible epic journeys to Northumberland. All in all a great start to the year, and I hope it continues as merrily as it began. :-)

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year! And I do hope you get beyond plotting epic journeys to Northumberland, it's a wonderful place.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 10:40 am (UTC)
Oh I know, believe me. The particular journey we were considering, for next New Year's Eve, was up to Allendale near Hexham to watch the tar-barrel procession they have there, which I wrote about in one of my very early LJ posts. planet_andy thought it sounded ace; ms_siobhan needed a little bit more persuading that it was worth driving up for, but I think we swung her round in the end. :-)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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