Did you know that [counter] people have been having a skeg at my little autonomous region?


On the Seventh Day of Christmas


I reckon that in 2013 I must have cut round about 32,000 toenails, and 120 of them were today. This is, of course, only an approximation calculated by means of taking a rough average of the number of clients I see in a day, applying that figure to how many days I guessed I have probably worked in the year and multiplying by ten. This method can never be considered totally accurate as a small number of people that I treat have fewer than ten toes and, in some parts of Wiltshire, they have been known to have more than ten.

As the clock advanced towards midnight and I advanced towards my final snip at round about 5.30 p.m., I thought how nice it would be if church bells could chime and fireworks could fill the Calne sky as the final piece of elderly lady’s unwanted keratin plopped into my debris tray.

Sadly there was no such spectacle but at least I finished my working year at the house of one of my favourite punters and I wandered off home with a contented feeling brought about from the knowledge that the lady was satisfied with the work I had done and I had enjoyed the little bit of banter that often goes on as I chisel away at the pedal extremity related encrustations and growths. Such a feeling makes the job seem very rewarding on most days but, at the end of the last day of the year, even more so. I even suggested that she and I go for a pint but she declined on the grounds that she’s not allowed to drive her mobility scooter when she’s pissed.

The fireworks and bells did come along about six hours later. I had to watch it all going on/off in rain-lashed London on the telly and, although people travel there from places all over the world to witness the magnificence of the occasion, I’m never all that impressed with the glitziness that marks this special moment. I’m happy enough with the knowledge that we have moved into another year, so hearing Gary Barlow sing Auld Lang Syne or watching Eamon Holmes eat twice his body weight in haggis is surplus to my celebratory requirements. No matter where I am, no matter who I’m with and no matter what I’m doing, I’m always happy when the final midnight of the year arrives.

The stuff on the telly was complete and utter crap but, in my opinion, this is typical for not just every New Year’s Eve but for every eve of every year. They got rid of the White Heather Club decades ago because viewers complained that it was predictable and dull, but I’d swap Jimmy Shand and Andy Stewart for manic and shouty old Jools Holland any day of the week. We never did find out what happened to Donald’s troozers, did we?  



I watched a DVD of Alan Partridge’s Alpha Papa film with various members of my family and had splash of strong drink and a right good laugh. After the bells we watched comedian John Bishop doing his stand-up routine and had another right good laugh and another splash. Unfortunately though, before we had even completed half an hour of the New Year I had broken all of my resolutions except the ones about the hamsters, the Dagenham Girl Pipers and the rubber tubing (three separate, unrelated resolutions, I hasten to add).

What also caused a state of frenzied joyousness in my world was the fact that today marked the start of the second half of the twelve days of Christmas. Please don’t let there be extra-time and penalties.

And finally . . . I took another photograph on my mobile phone today. I hope you like it. 


The tropical paradise that lurks outside my front window.

 The tropical paradise that lurks outside my front window.

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