Will this be Tim Henman's year?

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Want to know what's really going to happen next year? Look no further. Here is... Old Mother Kington's Almanack for AD 2005!


Rain. Cold. Bookies take millions of pounds from punters gambling it will be a wet and nasty Burns Night.

Vladmir Putin refuses to accept pro-Western outcome of Ukrainian election and demands a rerun.

Thousands go out to vote in the Iraqi election. None of them come back. Allegations of voter murdering on all sides.

Under the new Freedom of Information Act, Gordon Brown files an application to discover what Labour's election programme will be. Application refused on grounds of national security.

House prices go down a little, then come back up.


Rain. Cold. Jeffrey Archer denies having had an affair with Kimberly Fortier. When it is pointed out that nobody has accused him of it, he says, OK, but he hates to be left out of these things.

To ensure the return of a pro-Russian candidate in Ukraine, Moscow decides to enter its own candidate for the rerun. He is Gyorg W Putin, little-known brother of Vladimir Putin.

Sports headline: "Will this be Tim Henman's Year ?"

House prices go up a little, then come back down.


Cold. Rain. St David's Day passes without incident, and, indeed, without notice.

IOC announces brave new decision. After 2008, there will be two quite separate Olympic Games. One for clean athletes. One for drug-using athletes. Edinburgh, Liverpool, Cardiff, London etc etc make bid for Drug Olympics. Tunbridge Wells makes bid for Clean Games.

New pro-Western candidate enters Ukraine election. It is Jeb Bush.

New worldwide charity, the Next Big Disaster Fund, set up. The aim is to collect money in advance for floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc, so the world is not caught napping next time.

House prices catch a slight cold, and spend two days in bed.


Tony Blair calls general election in May. Thousands hurt in the excitement that sweeps country. Cash rescue grants sought from Next Big Disaster Fund. There is no money there. It has all gone mysteriously missing. Jeffrey Archer denies any involvement. Public inquiry into missing money set up under a lord that nobody has heard of. Tony Blair says it would be wrong to prejudge any inquiry but he is convinced Blunkett will re-emerge without a stain, and probably in the Cabinet.

House prices go for a short walk.


Milder. In the Ukraine election rerun, Putin and Bush both claim victory. Rerun slated for June.

Palestine applies for membership of the EU.

Crisis in Ireland. The last genuine Irish pub is closed down. All that is left is huge drinking halls built with EU money. Government decides to reimport Irish theme pubs from around Europe.

General election in UK. Labour comes first. Lib Dems come second. Taliban comes third, and Tories fourth.

New Harry Potter book comes out. Harry is now married, with two kids, and far too busy to do any spells, except to guard his allotment against frost. Sales are modest.

House prices rise, then fall, then apply for political asylum.


Jeb Bush becomes president of Ukraine. He promises more theme parks and fewer alligators.

Kylie Minogue made Dame of British Empire.

Michael Howard and William Hague offered cabinet seats by Tony Blair, who denies he is moving to the right.

New election in Iraq. Everyone too scared to vote. Nil turn-out. Decision on election outcome to be made by Iraqi Football Pools Panel. They give the interim government a 3-1 home win.

House prices go AWOL.

Six more months tomorrow!