Avaragado and friends predict 2023

Well, 2022 was a year, wasn’t it? Two monarchs and about thirty-seven prime ministers. Still we crumble on, watching those Brexit benefits pile up on street corners.

On New Year’s Eve the usual suspects plus special guests gathered at the Town and Gown as usual to drink away the afternoon and rummage for predictions for the year ahead. Here we are, already two bottles to the wind:

Predictions

  • Louise: will China try to invade Taiwan?
    • Chef: no
    • Chris: China will invade Japan
    • Melanie: yes
    • AndyC: no
    • David. no
    • Louise: yes
  • Louise: will Putin die?
    • Chef: no
    • Chris: Who’s Putin? No
    • Melanie: no
    • AndyC: yes
    • David: yes
    • Louise: yes
  • Chris: who will be the Glastonbury headliners?
    • Chef: PinkPantheress. Doja Cat
    • Chris: Taylor Swift, Arctic Monkeys
    • Melanie: Dua Lipa, Harry Styles
    • AndyC: Eminem, Rihanna
    • David: Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift
    • Louise: pass
  • Chef: will the Bank of England base rate hit 5%?
    • Chef: no, 4.75%
    • Chris: no, 4.5%
    • Melanie: yes, 5%
    • AndyC: yes, 5.5%
    • David: yes, 6%
    • Louise: yes, 5%
  • David: when will Jeremy Hunt stop being Chancellor?
    • Chef: he won’t
    • Chris: he won’t
    • Melanie: he won’t
    • AndyC: he won’t
    • David: June
    • Louise: he won’t
  • AndyC: will the government do a Covid booster for under 50s?
    • Chef: yes
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: no
    • AndyC: yes
    • David: yes
    • Louise: no – but people will be able to pay to get one
  • Chef: will there be another Scottish referendum on independence?
    • Chef: yes
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: no
    • AndyC: no
    • David: no
    • Louise: no
  • AndyC: will the Cambridge congestion charge be approved?
    • Chef: no
    • Chris: not in its current form, yes eventually
    • Melanie: sadly yes
    • AndyC: yes but changed
    • David: yes
    • Louise: yes
  • Chef: nominate some celebrity deaths
    • Chef: Elton John, Robbie Williams
    • Chris: Barry Manilow, Greta Thunberg
    • Melanie: Dick van Dyke, Britney Spears
    • AndyC: Elon Musk, Michael Eavis, Joe Biden
    • David: Henry Kissinger, Piers Morgan
    • Louise: David Attenborough, Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Apologies to those nominated. Some of them at least.

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Avaragado’s 2022 predictions – results

And so the Earth completes another ellipse around the Sun, and New Year’s Day arrives along with its traditions: the concert from Vienna with its polkas and waltzes, the wondering which shops will be open, and the results of last year’s predictions.

Here they are again, with my comments in bold in square brackets.

Predictions

  • Chef: Still Boris Johnson this time next year?
    • Chef: yes
    • Melanie: nope, he’ll be gone by March
    • David: no, July
    • [I believe Chris was too far gone to submit an opinion for this one. Melanie and I were both right – and Johnson did announce his resignation in July, although he stayed PM until September. None of us foresaw the ensuing chaos of Truss]
  • Chris wanted it on record for some reason that the four of us “will go out to eat at a vegan restaurant in 2022”
    • [Yes, we did]
  • David: Will the dear old queen make it to 2023?
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: yes
    • David: yes
    • Chef: no, she’ll pop off in October
    • [Chef was almost spot on! She died in September]
  • Chef thinks the James Webb Space Telescope deployment will fail in some way and it’ll be toast
    • [Chef was wrong. It’s fine, and producing amazing images]
  • Chris: Will ARM be bought by Nvidia?
    • Chris: yes, September
    • Melanie: yes, August
    • David: yes, July
    • Chef: yes, June
    • [None of us got this right. The takeover was abandoned]
  • Chris: Will WH Smith still exist on the high street?
    • Chris: no
    • Melanie: no
    • David: yes
    • Chef: yes
    • [No idea why we cared about WH Smith enough to predict its future. It still exists, so Chef and I are both right]
  • Melanie: Will Adrian have a job?
    • Consensus: nope
    • [Correct]
  • Melanie: Will Prince Andrew lose that civil case against him?
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: no
    • David: no
    • Chef: yes
    • [Technically he settled, deciding to pay millions to someone he claimed he’d never met. Seems legit]
  • David: What will be the name of the most recent major Covid variant?
    • Chris: Ting-tong
    • Melanie: Mut (Egyptian hieroglyph, Vulture)
    • David: Psi
    • Chef: Alpha-gamma
    • [It still seems to be Omicron]

In a bit: our predictions for 2023.

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Avaragado and friends predict 2022

I mean, anything could happen. This Tory Cinematic Universe in which we’re all background artistes, with the stars anchored wide-legged and slack-jawed beside poles surrounded by broken crockery, continues its relentless storyline of implausibility and poor gags.

An exclusive coterie of four – me, Chef, Chris and Melanie – booked the inside of a barrel at the Town and Gown for lunch on New Year’s Eve to resurrect the tradition interrupted in 2020 by the thing. We slung together some random half-arsed predictions for 2022 after some wine and cocktails, and present them to you below, after the visual interlude. I apologise in advance.

Predictions

  • Chef: Still Boris Johnson this time next year?
    • Chef: yes
    • Melanie: nope, he’ll be gone by March
    • David: no, July
  • Chris wanted it on record for some reason that the four of us “will go out to eat at a vegan restaurant in 2022”
  • David: Will the dear old queen make it to 2023?
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: yes
    • David: yes
    • Chef: no, she’ll pop off in October
  • Chef thinks the James Webb Space Telescope deployment will fail in some way and it’ll be toast
  • Chris: Will ARM be bought by Nvidia?
    • Chris: yes, September
    • Melanie: yes, August
    • David: yes, July
    • Chef: yes, June
  • Chris: Will WH Smith still exist on the high street?
    • Chris: no
    • Melanie: no
    • David: yes
    • Chef: yes
  • Melanie: Will Adrian have a job?
    • Consensus: nope
  • Melanie: Will Prince Andrew lose that civil case against him?
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: no
    • David: no
    • Chef: yes
  • David: What will be the name of the most recent major Covid variant?
    • Chris: Ting-tong
    • Melanie: Mut (Egyptian hieroglyph, Vulture)
    • David: Psi
    • Chef: Alpha-gamma

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Avaragado’s 2021 predictions – results

And so we enter season 3 of 2020, in which the writers dangle the prospect of a return to normality while placing several Chekhov-shaped revolvers on sundry mantelpieces. Before the new year overwhelms us, let’s revisit our predictions for 2021. As I could and can no longer be bothered to think of anything in advance, we came up with ideas on the fly – in a Zoom call, due to lockdown 3.

Here’s a cut-and-paste of the predictions we made, with commentary…

  • Louise: Joe Biden dies before end of 2021
    • Technically, no.
  • Will Trump vacate the White House willingly?
    • Group consensus: yes
    • Well. Not sure “willingly” is the word, given he instigated an attempted coup, refused to attend Biden’s inauguration, and still claims the election was rigged. But he didn’t stage a dirty protest in the Oval Office (as far as we know) and did fly off to Mar-a-Lago without the need for a straitjacket so maybe this is a yes?
  • Who will replace Boris Johnson, because surely he’s toast in 2021?
    • Chef: nobody – he’ll stay
      • Correct!
    • Adrian: Gove
      • Nope. Though Gove is now suspiciously quiet and lying in wait
    • David: Priti Patel, because we haven’t suffered enough
      • Nope. Don’t rule her out for 2022 though
    • Chris: Craig from Big Brother 1
      • I think Chris was drunk by now
  • Tokyo Olympics?
    • Won’t happen – Chef, Melanie, Chris
      • Wrong
    • Will happen – Adrian
      • Correct!
    • Will happen, but cut down – David, Louise
      • Correct, even more so – no spectators allowed
  • Glastonbury?
    • Will happen – Chris
      • Nope, although there was a kind of pretend Glastonbury
    • Won’t happen – Chef, Melanie, Adrian, David, Louise
      • Correct
  • When will the Bond film get released?
    • November – Melanie, David
      • Wrong
    • August – Chef
      • Wrong
    • September – Adrian
      • Correct!
    • July virtually – Louise
      • Wrong
    • April – Chris
      • Wrong
  • When will you personally be vaccinated?
    • Louise – July
    • Melanie – June
    • Chris – he won’t get it (I think he meant he wouldn’t be invited, not that he’d refuse)
    • Chef – June
    • Adrian – April
    • David – May
    • We were all massively pessimistic here. I was vaccinated in February, April, and October
  • When will we as a group go for a proper dinner together again?
    • Louise – June
    • Melanie – August
    • Chris – March
    • Chef – April
    • Adrian – May
    • David – May
    • It was April, for Melanie’s birthday – Chef was right. Although we were limited to 6 people, so Chef wasn’t actually there. There are some photos below.
  • Will anyone on this call leave the UK in 2021? (“UK” = UK + Scotland in case Scotland has ejected)
    • Louise – yes – Lynda will go to Spain ASAP
    • Melanie – yes, Lynda
    • Chris – yes, Lynda and Chris/Melanie
    • Chef – yes, Chris/Melanie, himself
    • Adrian – no
    • David – yes, Lynda
    • Pretty Sure Lynda went to Spain at some point this year. I don’t think any of the rest of us left the country.
  • In which month of 2021 will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex cease to be duke and duchess?
    • Louise – not at all
    • Melanie – October
    • Chris – not at all
    • Chef – not at all
    • Adrian – June
    • David – not at all
    • They remain duke and duchess.
  • Wimbledon?
    • Louise – July
    • Melanie – July but no crowd
    • Chris – won’t happen
    • Chef – August
    • Adrian – July
    • David – July but with smaller crowds
    • I was closest here. Crowds were limited until the last couple of days. Amazingly Stan got a grounds pass for the final Saturday, so we were there. There are some photos below.
  • This gathering next NYE?
    • Chris: all of us, evening meal, posh hotel in London – specifically, The Ritz
      • Very nope
    • Chef: Town and Gown (not that one), lunchtime, but he thinks it’s a bit optimistic
      • Correct! Photos below

Photos!

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Avaragado and friends predict 2021

Greetings from Space Year 2021, in which you can and often must do everything from the comfort of your own home except tell an investment bank that you’ve moved, which still requires written confirmation and a recent, original document that none of us receive anymore because we’ve all gone paperless.

Anyway, I shall take that up with my bank manager, a Mr Mainwaring of Walmington-on-Sea. He’ll sort it all out if I give him an orange.

For New Year’s Eve 2020 we followed the latest fashion trends and met virtually over Zoom. Our usual venue, née B Bar, lately Baroosh, and now The Town and Gown (not that one), is like most of the UK in COVID limbo. Cambridge is in tier 4, currently the most restrictive tier, officially labelled “stay at home” and more realistically known as “horse significantly bolted”.

Chris wrote a quiz for us this year, including a round in which we had to identify various TV shows with the heads of the main characters replaced with random weirdos:

Image may contain: 4 people, including David Smith, Lynda Andrews and Duncan Stansfield, people dancing and people standing

The predictions were pretty random, along the lines of dear god when will this nightmare be over? Here they are, in the order we made them:

  • Louise: Joe Biden dies before end of 2021
  • Will Trump vacate the White House willingly?
    • Group consensus: yes
  • Who will replace Boris Johnson, because surely he’s toast in 2021?
    • Chef: nobody – he’ll stay
    • Adrian: Gove
    • David: Priti Patel, because we haven’t suffered enough
    • Chris: Craig from Big Brother 1
  • Tokyo Olympics?
    • Won’t happen – Chef, Melanie, Chris
    • Will happen – Adrian
    • Will happen, but cut down – David, Louise
  • Glastonbury?
    • Will happen – Chris
    • Won’t happen – Chef, Melanie, Adrian, David, Louise
  • When will the Bond film get released?
    • November – Melanie, David
    • August – Chef
    • September – Adrian
    • July virtually – Louise
    • April – Chris
  • When will you personally be vaccinated?
    • Louise – July
    • Melanie – June
    • Chris – he won’t get it (I think he meant he wouldn’t be invited, not that he’d refuse)
    • Chef – June
    • Adrian – April
    • David – May
  • When will we as a group go for a proper dinner together again?
    • Louise – June
    • Melanie – August
    • Chris – March
    • Chef – April
    • Adrian – May
    • David – May
  • Will anyone on this call leave the UK in 2021? (“UK” = UK + Scotland in case Scotland has ejected)
    • Louise – yes – Lynda will go to Spain ASAP
    • Melanie – yes, Lynda
    • Chris – yes, Lynda and Chris/Melanie
    • Chef – yes, Chris/Melanie, himself
    • Adrian – no
    • David – yes, Lynda
  • In which month of 2021 will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex cease to be duke and duchess?
    • Louise – not at all
    • Melanie – October
    • Chris – not at all
    • Chef – not at all
    • Adrian – June
    • David – not at all
  • Wimbledon?
    • Louise – July
    • Melanie – July but no crowd
    • Chris – won’t happen
    • Chef – August
    • Adrian – July
    • David – July but with smaller crowds
  • This gathering next NYE?
    • Chris: all of us, evening meal, posh hotel in London – specifically, The Ritz
    • Chef: Town and Gown (not that one), lunchtime, but he thinks it’s a bit optimistic

Fingers crossed we’ll still all be here to mark ourselves at the end of the year.

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Avaragado’s 2020 predictions – results

WELL.

It’s safe to say we missed the main story of the year. Our imagined 4K teal and orange future conked out at 256×192 with colour clash, just about rendering a Pride flag before the rainbow was co-opted by the NHS. We all learned valuable lessons, including:

  • Politicians, media and public in the UK truly don’t know what “exponential growth” means
  • Driving for an hour to Barnard Castle is a perfectly acceptable way to test your eyesight
  • Despite everything, they actually would keep reopening Jurassic Park
  • Government can rule by decree, and neither the media nor the public nor MPs are too bothered by that

To the, uh, results.

For 2020’s predictions I asked a set of questions of the attendees of our very agreeable lunch, and gathered each person’s answers. Here they are again, with emoji ✅ ❌ scoring.

Politics

  1. Who will be the leader of the main UK political parties (Con, Lab, LD, SNP) on December 25, 2020?
    • Melanie: Boris Johnson ✅, Daniel Zeichner ❌, Layla Moran ❌, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
    • Chris: Boris Johnson ✅, Billy Bragg ❌, Caroline Flack ❌, Jimmy McSporran ❌
    • Chef: Boris Johnson ✅, Keir Starmer ✅, Jo Swinson ❌, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
    • Andy H: Boris Johnson ✅, Keir Starmer ✅, Ed Davey ✅, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
    • Andy C: Boris Johnson ✅, Rebecca Long-Bailey ❌, Ed Davey ✅, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
    • David: Boris Johnson ✅, Keir Starmer ✅, Ed Davey ✅, Nicola Sturgeon ✅
  2. Brexit! Will the UK extend the transition period beyond December 2020? If so, until when? If not, will the transition end with or without a deal?
    • Melanie: yes ❌, until a table is booked at Milliways
    • Chris: yes ❌, until the end of time
    • Chef: no ✅, and there’ll be no deal ❌
    • Andy H: yes ❌, for three months
    • Andy C: yes ❌, until end of January 2021
    • David: yes ❌, until end of 2021
  3. Will Scotland have an independence referendum in 2020? If so, what’s the result?
    • Melanie: no ✅; it’ll be talked about, but that’s it ✅
    • Chris: yes ❌; no score after extra time
    • Chef: no ✅
    • Andy H: no ✅
    • Andy C: no ✅
    • David: no ✅; it’ll be scheduled for 2021 ❌
  4. Who will be the Democrat nominee against Trump in the November 2020 election, and what will be the result of that election?
    • Melanie: RBG ❌; Democrat win ✅
    • Chris: The Littlest Hobo ❌; Trump win ❌
    • Chef: Elizabeth Warren ❌; Trump win ❌
    • Andy H: Elizabeth Warren ❌; Trump win ❌
    • Andy C: Hillary Clinton ❌; Trump win ❌
    • David: want Elizabeth Warren (score me on this one) ❌, fear Joe Biden; Democrat win ✅
    • [Correct answer: Joe Biden; Democrat win]

Entertainment

  1. How many Oscar nominations will Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker receive? And how many wins? Guess categories for bonus points.
    • Melanie: 4 ❌, 1 ❌, VFX ✅
    • Chris: 3 ✅, 3 ❌, Best lesbian kiss not shown in Shanghai ❌
    • Chef: 2 ❌, 0 ✅
    • Andy H: 2 ❌, 0 ✅, VFX ✅
    • Andy C: 4 ❌, 0 ✅
    • David: 5 ❌, 2 ❌, VFX ✅
    • [Correct answer: 3, 0, Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing]
  2. Which country will come first at Eurovision 2020? And where will the UK finish?
    • Melanie: Putin ❌; bottom ❌
    • Chris: Central African Republic ❌; 30th ❌
    • Chef: Norway ❌; 2nd from bottom ❌
    • Andy H: Denmark ❌; bottom ❌
    • Andy C: Ireland ❌; bottom ❌
    • David: Australia ❌; 18th ❌
    • [Correct answer: it didn’t take place]
  3. Who will be announced, if anyone, as the next James Bond?
    • Melanie: Robert Pattinson ❌
    • Chris: Hermione Granger ❌
    • Chef: Daniel Radcliffe ❌
    • Andy H: no announcement ✅
    • Andy C: Jodie Comer ❌
    • David: no announcement ✅
  4. What will be the highest audience for an episode of Doctor Who series 12?
    • Melanie: 8.7m ❌
    • Chris: too drunk to answer ❌
    • Chef: too drunk to answer ❌
    • Andy H: 8m ❌ but closest
    • Andy C: 9.6m ❌
    • David: 8.5m ❌
    • [Correct answer: 6.89m]
  5. How many Razzies will the Cats movie receive?
    • Melanie: 5 ❌
    • Chris: too drunk to answer ❌
    • Chef: too drunk to answer ❌
    • Andy H: 3 ❌
    • Andy C: 4 ❌
    • David: 5 ❌
    • [Correct answer: 6]

Sport

  1. How many gold/silver/bronze medals will Team GB win at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo?
    • Melanie: 73 total ❌
    • Chris: 69 bronze ❌
    • Chef: 24 gold, 36 silver, 12 bronze ❌
    • Andy H: 50 total ❌
    • Andy C: 65 total ❌
    • David: 60 total ❌
    • [Correct answer: they didn’t take place]

There you go.

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Dad

My dad died at the end of May. He had been living with dementia for several years — for decreasing values of “living” — and had been in a care home for the last two of those years. Ten days before he died he was taken to hospital when the care home staff became worried about his condition. This turned out to be a false alarm and he returned to the care home that night; however, it seems he contracted COVID-19 during the hospital visit.

He showed no symptoms. Until that point, the care home had been extremely careful to ensure they kept free of the virus, allowing no visitors and with some staff moving in temporarily. Sadly it seems possible my dad introduced it on returning from the hospital, and a number of staff and residents have subsequently been unwell.

My dad appeared fine until the day he died, when he stopped drinking water. He was taken to hospital again, where they realised he had pneumonia, and was near the end. Thankfully my mum was able to be with him — in full, suffocating PPE — for his last moments. It was quick and peaceful.

The lockdown period was by far the longest time they had been apart for the 55 years of their marriage. I cannot imagine how those last few minutes together felt.

It was only when mum received dad’s death certificate that we learned he’d had COVID-19. He’d been tested on admission on the day he died. Died with, died of, it doesn’t matter much.

And so he became a statistic: one of the 300 or so in the next day’s graphics, a nudge upwards on the charts. His life was near the end even without the virus, and bluntly his death came as a relief — he was a shell, he knew none of us, only music perked him up. He was existing, not living. And yet the virus took him before his time.

His funeral was last week. I drove behind the hearse — no funeral cars permitted — at 30 mph along a dual carriageway, and watched drivers around us try to figure out how to cut in for junctions. The service was small, only eleven mourners, socially distanced. Somewhere in Time by John Barry. Do not stand by my bed and weepJerusalemString of Pearls by Glenn Miller. Various Jesus bits. There’s a poem at the back of the order of service I can’t read yet.

We used the photo at the top of this post on the front cover of the order of service. I took it at the party we held for his 80th, back in 2014. By coincidence I’ve recently been scanning and fixing photos of him kept by his own mother. Here are a few of them, plus some others in my collection.

He was kind, and calm, and loving, and entirely to blame for my sense of humour. I heard him swear approximately once. Even when we all knew his memory was failing, he remained cheerful. He’d hold out a palmful of coins and say he didn’t recognise any of them, and laugh about it. He accepted every new hardship, every walled-off memory, with grace and a shrug or an eye-roll.

And every time I visited my parents, I left thinking that was the best he’d ever be.

My mum became his carer, until his condition deteriorated and he needed special care. Throughout all of this she has been stronger than I thought possible, finding humour from the darkest moments. The memories of the last few terrible years can now at least begin to fade, and let the good years take their place. He is gone, but not gone.

We were so lucky.

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Avaragado and friends get bored/drunk predicting 2020

Look! Look at us all!

At yesterday’s lunch I attempted another set of group predictions for 2020, with… mixed results. Perhaps – and you may well argue that I should have learned this lesson by now – leaving it until Chris and Chef were a few fathoms into their second bottle was a mistake.

However, that was last decade, back when we still had hope, before trousers were currency and before the Denunciation of the Courgette. Now we must push on, push on, into our 4K teal and orange future.

Our collective (hic) vision for 2020 follows:

Politics

  1. Who will be the leader of the main UK political parties (Con, Lab, LD, SNP) on December 25, 2020?
    • Melanie: Boris Johnson, Daniel Zeichner, Layla Moran, Nicola Sturgeon
    • Chris: Boris Johnson, Billy Bragg, Caroline Flack, Jimmy McSporran
    • Chef: Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Jo Swinson, Nicola Sturgeon
    • Andy H: Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Ed Davey, Nicola Sturgeon
    • Andy C: Boris Johnson, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Ed Davey, Nicola Sturgeon
    • David: Boris Johnson, Keir Starmer, Ed Davey, Nicola Sturgeon
  2. Brexit! Will the UK extend the transition period beyond December 2020? If so, until when? If not, will the transition end with or without a deal?
    • Melanie: yes, until a table is booked at Milliways
    • Chris: yes, until the end of time
    • Chef: no, and there’ll be no deal
    • Andy H: yes, for three months
    • Andy C: yes, until end of January 2021
    • David: yes, until end of 2021
  3. Will Scotland have an independence referendum in 2020? If so, what’s the result?
    • Melanie: no; it’ll be talked about, but that’s it
    • Chris: yes; no score after extra time
    • Chef: no
    • Andy H: no
    • Andy C: no
    • David: no; it’ll be scheduled for 2021
  4. Who will be the Democrat nominee against Trump in the November 2020 election, and what will be the result of that election?
    • Melanie: RBG; Democrat win
    • Chris: The Littlest Hobo; Trump win
    • Chef: Elizabeth Warren; Trump win
    • Andy H: Elizabeth Warren; Trump win
    • Andy C: Hillary Clinton; Trump win
    • David: want Elizabeth Warren (score me on this one), fear Joe Biden; Democrat win

Entertainment

  1. How many Oscar nominations will Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker receive? And how many wins? Guess categories for bonus points.
    • Melanie: 4, 1, VFX
    • Chris: 3, 3, Best lesbian kiss not shown in Shanghai
    • Chef: 2, 0
    • Andy H: 2, 0, VFX
    • Andy C: 4, 0
    • David: 5, 2, VFX
  2. Which country will come first at Eurovision 2020? And where will the UK finish?
    • Melanie: Putin; bottom
    • Chris: Central African Republic; 30th
    • Chef: Norway; 2nd from bottom
    • Andy H: Denmark; bottom
    • Andy C: Ireland; bottom
    • David: Australia; 18th
  3. Who will be announced, if anyone, as the next James Bond?
    • Melanie: Robert Pattinson
    • Chris: Hermione Granger
    • Chef: Daniel Radcliffe
    • Andy H: no announcement
    • Andy C: Jodie Comer
    • David: no announcement
  4. What will be the highest audience for an episode of Doctor Who series 12?
    • Melanie: 8.7m
    • Chris: too drunk to answer
    • Chef: too drunk to answer
    • Andy H: 8m
    • Andy C: 9.6m
    • David: 8.5m
  5. How many Razzies will the Cats movie receive?
    • Melanie: 5
    • Chris: too drunk to answer
    • Chef: too drunk to answer
    • Andy H: 3
    • Andy C: 4
    • David: 5

Sport

  1. How many gold/silver/bronze medals will Team GB win at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo?
    • Melanie: 73 total
    • Chris: 69 bronze
    • Chef: 24 gold, 36 silver, 12 bronze
    • Andy H: 50 total
    • Andy C: 65 total
    • David: 60 total

There you have it, and may god have mercy on our souls.

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2019 predictions – results

I’m not entirely sure why I bother, but here we are again.

At our semi-annual New Year’s Eve lunch yesterday, it emerged that I was the only one to remember our group predictions from the last gasp of 2018. While Chef and Chris glugged the wine, I dug out the predictions and scored us all.

It’s fascinating, I tell you. Here are the results.

One or other

  1. The upcoming Sussex youngling. Which flavour: M, F or other?
    • Actual: M
    • ❌ Chris: F (and ginger)
    • ✅ Melanie: M
    • ✅ Chef: M
    • ❌ David: F
  2. Ultima Thule, to be visited by New Horizons mere hours after I post. What will it turn out to be: contact binary, close binary, or other?
    • Actual: contact binary
    • ❌ Chris: other – non-binary
    • ❌ Melanie: close binary
    • ✅ Chef: contact binary
    • ✅ David: contact binary
  3. The Crystal Maze, Richard Ayoade edition. Axed or not?
    • Actual: not
    • ❌ Chris: axed
    • ❌ Melanie: axed
    • ❌ Chef: axed
    • ❌ David: axed

Yes or no, plus

  1. Will there be a second referendum on Brexit? If there is, who wins?
    • Actual: no
    • ✅ Chris: no (if there is, remain wins)
    • ✅ Melanie: no (dunno)
    • ✅ Chef:  no (remain)
    • ✅ David: no (remain)
  2. Will there be a general election? If there is, who wins?
    • Actual: yes (Tories)
    • ❌❌ Chris: no (DUP) (yes, he’d had a few glasses of wine by now)
    • ❌❌ Melanie: no (hung)
    • ✅❌ Chef: yes (hung)
    • ✅❌ David: yes (hung)
  3. Will Brexit happen on March 29th? (I should’ve asked about the type of deal really)
    • Actual: no
    • ❌ Chris: yes
    • ❌ Melanie: yes
    • ❌ Chef: yes (with some deal, but not May’s current offering)
    • ❌ David: yes

Higher or lower

  1. Which film has the better opening weekend: Avengers Endgame or Star Wars Episode IX?
    • Actual: AE ($1.2bn) over IX ($725m)
    • ❌ Chris: IX (but he actually thinks AE) (yes, still drinking)
    • ❌ Melanie: IX
    • ❌ Chef: IX
    • ✅ David: AE
  2. Which football gang finishes higher in the 2018-19 Premier League: Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur?
    • Actual: Tottenham (3rd) over Arsenal (6th)
    • ❌ Chris: Arsenal (via Accrington Stanley) (cheers)
    • ✅ Melanie: Tottenham
    • ❌ Chef: Arsenal
    • ✅ David: Tottenham
  3. Which corporation has the greater market capitalisation: Apple or Microsoft?
    • Actual: Apple ($1.295tn) over Microsoft ($1.202tn)
    • ✅ Chris: Apple
    • ❌ Melanie: Microsoft
    • ❌ Chef: Microsoft
    • ❌ David: Microsoft

Comings and goings

(as at December 31, 2019)

  1. Who will be the UK PM?
    • Actual: Boris Johnson
    • ❌ Chris: Theresa May
    • ❌ Melanie: Sajid Javid
    • ✅ Chef: Boris Johnson
    • ❌ David: Sajid Javid
  2. Who will be the Manchester United football manager?
    • Actual: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    • ❌ Chris: Sir Alex Ferguson (hic)
    • ❌ Melanie: Jose Mourinho
    • ✅ Chef: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    • ✅ David: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
  3. How many moonwalkers will still be alive? (Currently, 4 of 12)
    • Actual: 4
    • ❌ Chris: 3
    • ❌ Melanie: 3
    • ✅ Chef: 4
    • ❌ David: 3

Dates

  1. When will Trump resign? Or won’t he resign in 2019?
    • Actual: he didn’t
    • ✅ Chris: he won’t resign
    • ✅ Melanie: he won’t resign
    • ✅ Chef: he won’t resign
    • ❌ David: June 1st
  2. When will May resign? Or won’t she resign in 2019?
    • Actual: July 24th
    • ❌ Chris: she won’t resign
    • ✅ (closest) Melanie: June
    • ❌ Chef: October 1st
    • ❌ David: April 15th
  3. When will Prince Philip die? Or will he make it to 2020?
    • Actual: still going
    • ❌ Chris: January 10th
    • ✅ Melanie: he won’t die in 2019
    • ❌ Chef: June 1st
    • ✅ David: he won’t die in 2019

See, I told you it was fascinating. And the final scores:

  • 🥄 Chris: 3
  • 🥉 Melanie: 6
  • 🥇 Chef: 8
  • 🥈David: 7

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Avaragado and friends predict(ish) 2019

Hello, dear reader. It’s been a year, hasn’t it? And soon it’ll be another year. So it goes.

I gave up the proper prediction business some time ago, but at a casual wine-faced lunch today I subjected a subset of the usual suspects to a barragette of questions related to the Year of Oh Lord 2019. Herewith are those questions and our answers. Feel free to add your own answers in the comments. Chris has agreed to handle the scoring this very day next year, in the unlikely event that there is one.

One or other

  1. The upcoming Sussex youngling. Which flavour: M, F or other?
    • Chris: F (and ginger)
    • Melanie: M
    • Chef: M
    • David: F
  2. Ultima Thule, to be visited by New Horizons mere hours after I post. What will it turn out to be: contact binary, close binary, or other?
    • Chris: other – non-binary
    • Melanie: close binary
    • Chef: contact binary
    • David: contact binary
  3. The Crystal Maze, Richard Ayoade edition. Axed or not?
    • Chris: axed
    • Melanie: axed
    • Chef: axed
    • David: axed

Yes or no, plus

  1. Will there be a second referendum on Brexit? If there is, who wins?
    • Chris: no (if there is, remain wins)
    • Melanie: no (dunno)
    • Chef:  no (remain)
    • David: no (remain)
  2. Will there be a general election? If there is, who wins?
    • Chris: no (DUP) (yes, he’d had a few glasses of wine by now)
    • Melanie: no (hung)
    • Chef: yes (hung)
    • David: yes (hung)
  3. Will Brexit happen on March 29th? (I should’ve asked about the type of deal really)
    • Chris: yes
    • Melanie: yes
    • Chef: yes (with some deal, but not May’s current offering)
    • David: yes

Higher or lower

  1. Which film has the better opening weekend: Avengers Endgame or Star Wars Episode IX?
    • Chris: IX (but he actually thinks AE) (yes, still drinking)
    • Melanie: IX
    • Chef: IX
    • David: AE
  2. Which football gang finishes higher in the 2018-19 Premier League: Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur?
    • Chris: Arsenal (via Accrington Stanley) (cheers)
    • Melanie: Tottenham
    • Chef: Arsenal
    • David: Tottenham
  3. Which corporation has the greater market capitalisation: Apple or Microsoft?
    • Chris: Apple
    • Melanie: Microsoft
    • Chef: Microsoft
    • David: Microsoft

Comings and goings

(as at December 31, 2019)

  1. Who will be the UK PM?
    • Chris: Theresa May
    • Melanie: Sajid Javid
    • Chef: Boris Johnson
    • David: Sajid Javid
  2. Who will be the Manchester United football manager?
    • Chris: Sir Alex Ferguson (hic)
    • Melanie: Jose Mourinho
    • Chef: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
    • David: Ole Gunnar Solskjær
  3. How many moonwalkers will still be alive? (Currently, 4 of 12)
    • Chris: 3
    • Melanie: 3
    • Chef: 4
    • David: 3

Dates

  1. When will Trump resign? Or won’t he resign in 2019?
    • Chris: he won’t resign
    • Melanie: he won’t resign
    • Chef: he won’t resign
    • David: June 1st
  2. When will May resign? Or won’t she resign in 2019?
    • Chris: she won’t resign
    • Melanie: June
    • Chef: October 1st
    • David: April 15th
  3. When will Prince Philip die? Or will he make it to 2020?
    • Chris: January 10th
    • Melanie: he won’t die in 2019
    • Chef: June 1st
    • David: he won’t die in 2019

Run along now.

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