Enough of this dreadful 2016, what's in store for next year?
PUBLISHED: 15:05 08 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:10 08 December 2016
For my final column of 2016, I'd considered writing a review of the year, but thanks to Donald Trump, Brexit, the deaths of various beloved celebrities, Norwich City's relegation, and my dodgy knee, I'd say the best thing about 2016 is its imminent conclusion.
Instead, I can let you in on a few secrets about the year to come, thanks to the Norwich Evening News 2017 staff calendar, given free to all of us columnists, which includes snippets of forthcoming news on each page, because we don’t just report the news here, we ARE the news!
So, buckle up your turkeys, and mind where you’re placing that holly, because here’s what 2017 has in store:
January - ‘A church for every week of the year, and a pub for every day,’ goes the old saying about Norwich, but with the opening of Clare’s Classy Café on Magdalen Street, the city now boasts a coffee shop for every minute of the year. Yes, Clare’s Classy Café is the 525,600th coffee shop in Norwich, all selling artisanal, ethically-sourced coffee, cakes and pastries made by local bakers, and occasional poetry readings. Clare’s Classy Café has a unique selling point – a live gnu roaming the café, knocking over tables and chairs, making a mess, and goring unsuspecting customers. “It’s foolish,” admitted café owner Clare S. Classy-Café.
February - Football, and Norwich City cause a sensation when they admit lookalikes Alex Pritchard and Steven Naismith are the same person. City supremo Alex Neil believes this caused autumn’s run of poor form, when selecting ‘both’ players actually left City playing each game with only 10 men.
March - Following his success on Strictly Come Dancing, former MP Ed Balls recreates Will Kemp’s famous Nine Days Wonder of 1600, and morris dances from Westminster to Norwich. The one-time chancellor overshoots however, coming to a halt on a sandbank off the coast of Blakeney, where a quartet of seals award Balls scores of 2, 1, 4, and a dead mackerel.
April - Norwich City Council cause an uproar by closing every road within City boundaries due to roadworks. Angry citizens create their own transport system using the abandoned medieval chalk mines that riddle the Norwich subsoil. Lack of regulations soon leave the underground network in a state of chaos, and the citizens form a committee to oversee maintenance. The committee soon closes down every road underneath the city with roadworks.
May - a joint sequel for two comedy films set in Norfolk. ‘Alan Partridge vs Mike Bassett: The Battle of Berney Arms’ shows the two comic characters, played by Steve Coogan and Ricky Tomlinson, clash at the bird sanctuary over who gets to eat the last Kettle Chip in their picnic basket. Matters worsen when the pair are pecked by a radioactive bittern, develop super-powers, and fight atop a windmill near the Acle Straight.
June - Politics, and a shock result in the Norfolk North-by-North-West by-election, called after the defection of the standing MP, Derek the Caterpillar, to the Butterfly Party. The Conservatives run a campaign based on the idea of the constituency leaving the UK to form new economic ties with the Dogger Bank, German Bight, and North and South Utsire. The Lib Dems win however, picking up votes by the tactic of nodding and smiling politely. Labour and the Greens trail in third and fourth, starved of the oxygen of publicity.
July - UEA architect student Miranda Bollinger makes academic history when tutors agree to a three-year extension to an overdue essay. The extension is funded by Miranda’s father Vlad, a hedge fund manager in London, through a PFI initiative involving putting Miranda’s essay out to tender, with the lowest bidder winning the right to outsourcing preliminary research. Miranda later states: “I handed in the proposal and expected a good grade, but at first my tutor insisted I write the actual essay. Some people just don’t live in the real world.”
August - The silly season, when MPs take their summer recess, causing an upsurge of newspaper stories about UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, killer bees, talking pigs, and claims that next Tuesday will be the hottest day the world has ever known. Readers of Suffolk’s leading newspaper, the Leiston Clarion and Sheep Breeder’s Gazette, notice no difference in their paper’s output.
September and October - Who would have thought giant squid could walk so far inland? Or know how to unlock your front door?
November - Sorry, but those squid are proving difficult to remove, as your GP can all too readily confirm.
December - Christmas, and west Norwich suburbanites Zorg and Beatrice Grunter invent a new festive figurehead, designed for locals to enjoy. Mr Grunter dresses up as Kris Kringleford, who hands out toys to local children from his workshop. Rumours that the original Kris Kringle, now living in semi-retirement in a ditch in Haddiscoe, is set to sue the Grunters, are curtailed when Donald Trump presses a red button and blows up the entire world.
A very merry Christmas and a happy new year to all readers of the Norwich Evening News!