A baby for Yasser, true love for Diana ... viruses from outer space. Co me on, tell us what else you have in mind for our next 362 sunrises
Barely three days old and you have already astonished us with the headline of the year! Is this the way you intend to continue, or will you never again reach the heights of "Devon Malcolm leads England batting fightback"?

I see that astrologers present at your birth have predicted an eventful life for you. On the negative side, they expect floods, a virus from outer space that attacks the ears and eyes, and an appearance of the Antichrist. But those must be balanced against the predicted cure for Aids, the discovery of true love by Princess Diana, a baby for Yasser Arafat and the appearance of the Virgin Mary in the Middle East. In the autumn, Pluto will leave Scorpio to enter Sagittarius - excellent news for anyone suffering from a sexually transmitted disease. Most encouraging of all, the American Forecaster Almanac predicts that you will herald the end of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Is that the sort of year you have in mind, or do you have your own plans, I wonder? How will you, Nineteen Ninety-five, compare with your ancestors, Eighteen and Seventeen? 1895 was the year that gave us the words "masculism" and "sportsman", Victorian values intriguingly complemented by "masochism" and "flagellomania", too. 1795 saw the linguistic introduction of both "terrorism" and "disarmament", which was at least an improvement on 1695's "howitzer", "tourniquet" and "cat o' nine tails".

What new cliches, inventions and flashpoints will you be treating us to? 1994, from whom you took up the temporal baton, was the year of Sleaze, Eurosceptic, Lottery, Rwanda and Grozny. Dare we hope for something more encouraging from you in this United Nations International Year of Tolerance?

Or is it out of your control? I suspect that the march of science will grind you down, leaving you no option but to continue the trends of the Nineties. Your predecessor was the year a computer defeated the world chess champion. What next? Everything from economics to weather forecasting has become a branch of applied chaos theory. City banks pay huge salaries to pure mathematicians with the ink on their Cambridge doctorates still wet between the pages of their train timetables.

You have been designated the Arts Council Year for Literature, but will your time in office see the first machine winning the Booker Prize? Will chips take over from Fish after the television news? Will you be the Year of the Nerd? The Year of the ArmaniAnorak?

As you'll have gathered, I'm not especially optimistic for you, but there's just one special favour I'd like to ask. I know you only have a year before you hand over to Ninety-six, but could you possibly, if it's not too much to ask, try to find a decent, British, funny sitcom for the BBC? Now that would be absolutely fabulous.

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