Call me “Captain Re-tread”, but this year’s festive fiction offering is actually last year’s festive fiction offering wrapped up in new sparkly snowman paper.
As such, it’s more of a cop-out than a line of 2,500 New York policemen standing with their flies undone, but if you’re new here, then at least it’s potentially a novel cop-out (like the same policemen with the same trouser/tackle arrangement, all reading War & Peace).
For the moment, do please enjoy. If you’re very unfortunate indeed, I may be back later in the week with rampant Yuletide yodelling...
When David Guetta proclaimed to the world that he was ‘geranium’, he could have had no idea how inspiring his song would be to the UK celebrity gardener fraternity.
Rumour has it that on hearing the opening lyrics, Monty Don was moved to French kiss his favourite trowel. Gay Search flashed her underwear at an off-duty policewoman in a pub and went on to thrash the local darts team single-handed. As for Carol Klein, all I can reveal right now is that her forthcoming a cappella fitness DVD will have more of a Hawaiian feel than a night in the hot tub with Steve McGarrett.
The only gardener unimpressed by Guetta’s lyrical masterpiece turns out to be Alan Titchmarsh. Some might blame his lack of enthusiasm on a failed prosthetic male menopause, but in truth Mr Titchmarsh (not a ‘Sir’ yet? Crazy!) has been busy with other matters on our behalf. As anyone fond of gadding and poncing about in the woodlands of England knows only too well, pretty soon there may not be very much of them left. The chalara fraxinea fungus has descended on our ash trees like a Kylie on a 90s Names For Babies list and unless our forests are felled and burned to the ground in large numbers, they may disappear forever.
Following the Chelsea Flower Show, Titchmarsh circled London on a huge inflatable marrow to protest at the Government’s handling of the ash dieback crisis. The marrow was sourced from a German WWI museum — a hybrid of two separate zeppelins and a bouncy schloss from the play area. Upon hearing of the protest via a CCTV hotline hardwired to his cerebellum, environment minister Owen Paterson denounced the celebrity gardener’s actions, referring to the marrow as a “complete muppet”. In his defence, Titchmarsh riposted by pointing out that the marrow was too big to be any kind of puppet and, thanks to its erection atop a trio of articulated lorries, had “no hands up it”.
As I understand it, matters have now come to a combative head, and everyone from Prince William to the new Archbishop of Canterbury is proposing that Titchmarsh and Paterson battle things out in a mud bath outside Westminster Abbey. The Welsh Union of Women Wrestlers is on standby to provide the two men with appropriate training and costumes, and Don Crutchthorne of Devonshire snorkel shop, Crutchthorne’s Snorkels, has announced that if he is chosen to sponsor the event ahead of Barclays, Marston’s Brewery or Durex, all proceeds will be donated to a deserving sub-aqua charity.
The likely date for this event is Saturday January 19th 2013 and I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be organising a mini-bus run for anyone interested in attending. All I require is that passengers chip in a tenner towards the petrol and sign a form agreeing not to write obscenities on either combatant with marker pens, paint or chisels. If you can rustle up burgers and sausages on a portable barbie, so much the better — this is going to be one heckuva big, big day.