A Christmas card from the Englands
You know those really smug people who put a printed circular inside a Christmas card telling you all about what their family has been up to this year? Here's one from the Englands.
Gosh, another year nearly past - where does all the time go?! Jimmy says "Playing bloody cricket constantly until we're exhausted" - but we think he's just in a grump because he's never really recovered from the family trip to Nottingham in the summer.
It was another eventful year for the England Family, not least because we welcomed two new arrivals!! Firstly there was young Ben, who began the year being very naughty indeed, not wanting to go to bed and demanding the bottle constantly, but he's settled down now. As for young Joe, well he's growing up so fast - already he looks like he could be three or four years old. There was a bullying incident when we had an Australian exchange pupil over, but Joe took that in his stride and is turning into a lovely boy.
We know there's nothing worse than getting one of those Christmas circulars where people bang on about their kids and how brilliant they've been and how they got a Merit in Grade Five clarinet etc!!?! Well don't worry - the Englands won't be doing that, although we just would like to say a special Christmas hooray to Matthew, who was very proud to be named pupil of the year earlier in the year. He's certainly gone from strength to strength ever since and we know that once he gets to re-take those GCSEs he'll show everyone exactly why they thought he was so special a few months ago. Couldn't be prouder!
Graeme has been completely mad as usual! He's never off that mobile phone, shooting his silly videos and doing his Twitter, whatever that is, and generally offending all and sundry with his funny ways! We're thinking that it could possibly be time for him to retire and spend more time doing his amateur dramatics and playing in his band, but he insists that he won't know what to do with himself.
Stuart has had a strange sort of year. He's going through one of those typical teenage phases (joy!!!!!) where he totally refuses to do anything that anyone says, not even going on the sponsored walk, which he used to love doing.
As for mum and dad, well it's been a busy year for Ali, who has taken on far too much as usual and is trying to juggle everything at once! Ali says that a few days on the farm not having to deal with anyone is what the doctor ordered, and if Reverend Gooch can come along for a chat then everything will be right with the world!
As for poor old Andy, well he's got the weight of the world on his shoulders with work but he still manages to find time for a few months off each year - most of which he spends worrying about what's going to happen when sees the rest of the England clan again! Oh well! Onward and upwards!
Happy Christmas from Andy, Ali and the Englands!
All quotes and "facts" here are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)
Read an extract from Alan's new book Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects, here