Not really a year to remember, 2006 – in fact a year best forgotten. Everton didn’t win the FA Cup, or the Premiership, or the Scottish Cup, or Sports Personality of the Year – and they didn’t even qualify for the World Conkers Finals. (they wouldn’t stoop to.)
From a national point of view things were no better: the ignominious departure from the World Cup in Germany was probably the worst part – or is that würst? Then this morning, beaten by the Aussies at their National Sport – Pommie-bashing. I may have mentioned the infamous Oz predilection for triumphalism. Having won the Ashes series, instead of letting our guys go home for New Year, their two best bowlers have postponed their retirement until after the Sydney game – not for the joy of a nail-biting game of international cricket, but in order not to miss one single opportunity to humiliate the Poms. It’s a bit like Mohammed Ali knocking out Foreman, and being allowed, nay, encouraged, to play bouncy castles on his lifeless body. Hence I was not surprised to receive the following gloat from an Oz friend:
FOR SALE: one double-decker, open top red bus, rarely used and no anticipated use for next 15 years, Apply to England Cricket Board, or English Rugby Union.
On the Personal front 2006 could hardly have been worse, but there's a little ray of sunshine to end on. You know how you sometimes don’t know how much you love someone or something until you almost lose it or them? Well, after spending a lot of time – and money – this autumn trying to sell our little piece of heaven in the south, it took only two showings to prospective buyers for us to realise we couldn’t possibly let it go.
So see you tomorrow, Villefranche!
Here's hoping 2007 is a great one for all of us. Happy New Year!