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.
Chef: Still Boris Johnson this time next year?
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?
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?
Melanie: Will Adrian have a job?
Melanie: Will Prince Andrew lose that civil case against him?
David: What will be the name of the most recent major Covid variant?
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
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
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
Won’t happen – Chef, Melanie, Chris
Will happen – Adrian
Will happen, but cut down – David, Louise
Correct, even more so – no spectators allowed
Will happen – Chris
Nope, although there was a kind of pretend Glastonbury
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
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.
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
Chef: Town and Gown (not that one), lunchtime, but he thinks it’s a bit optimistic