Friday 31 December 1999
Perfect as the name may seem
For something flakey, cold and mixed
This poem is not about ice-cream
But now the wine is duly poured
Before the vintage changes name
Come charge your glass in equal portions
Fear and wonder, dashed with shame.
In January, cold and damp
Beside a nibbled Norfolk coast
A henge of gnarled trees appeared
A four-millennia ancient ghost
In spite of pleas to leave it be
And let the sea reclaim its own
The diggers and the hard-hats came
To take it to some safety zone.
And thus began a muddled year
Of trying to fix what wasn't broke
While obdurately leaving be
Those things which bother normal folk.
Like transport. Buses, cars and trains
The nuts and bolts of A to B
Which stall more spanners in their way
Than trying to shift an ancient tree
And Prescott, like a boy who'd got
A train-set and Scalextric kit
All jumbled up in one big box
Could never make the pieces fit.
Before we knew it, Spring charged in
A roll of drums, a tally-ho!
The Lion was woken by the row
And blundered into Kosovo
Confused and groggy from his kip
And only half-prepared to fight
He watched the human lava slip
Down mountain passes day and night
And when the cost was reckoned up
And fragile peace secured the day
The words of Brecht still rang as true:
"Like love, War always finds a way."
Awards: A "Duke" for royal tact
Hmm... wonder who that's going to?
The "Widdecombe" for showbiz nous
And how to work a passport queue
The prizes for the next three boys
Detention, housepoint loss, disgrace
To Aitken, Archer, Hamilton
For first-rate fiction in each case.
The "William Hague" to William Hague
For such bad luck it wasn't fair
The "What's This Global Warming John?"
To Mrs Prescott and her hair
The "Murdstone" Education Prize
For propagating pre-school gloom
To Mr Woodhead and the team
For Learning Targets In The Womb
Nostradamus blew it big style
With his Armageddon tips
Overshadowed late in summer
Literally, by the eclipse.
In the end, the year surrendered
To the Net and mobile phone
Ninety Nine. Mwah! Gonna miss U.
Melted. Like the ice-cream cone.
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 3 Katie Hopkins has just written a piece so hateful that it might give Hitler pause – why was it published?
- 4 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
- 5 Cancel Sky at your peril: man spends 96 minutes in chat but fails to get rid of service
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: George Lucas admits he hasn't seen The Force Awakens trailer
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer: Watch the teaser for the Jedi-less Death Star heist film
Avengers: Age of Ultron: 'After credits' scene leaks online
Kevin Spacey's successor at The Old Vic promises a more low-key approach
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate