Skip's 2020 Vision - Just what will happen in Norfolk this year?
PUBLISHED: 23:39 04 January 2020 | UPDATED: 23:39 04 January 2020
Skeptic Skip, Norfolk's answer to Cassandra, Nostradamus and Old Mother Shipton, proudly presents his exclusive predictions for the county in 2020, prefaced by Aunt Agatha's evergreen maxim: "That dunt matter what happen, there's allus someone knew that would"
The self-styled Cromer seer won international fame when he forecast some years ago that yet another blessed survey would unwrap Norfolk as the safest, cleanest, healthiest, cheapest, friendliest, quietest and least spoilt part of Britain.
Plaudits multiplied when he pronounced Norfolk would have the good sense, as usual, to deny all such allegations.
Here is the only authentic home-grown crop of prognostications untainted by prejudice or pressures dressed up as promises:
January - Grey power forces television moguls into a healthier diet for senior citizens, many of whom reside and ruminate along the Norfolk coast. Freshened-up offerings approved by Ofsted (Old Folks' Superior Television, Especially Drama) include Only Shawls and Corsets, The Ex-Lax Factor, Strictly Come Darning and I'm a Chiropodist, Cut Me Out of Here.
Spotted on window at Melton Constable travel agency: This is where we peddle our wheres.
February - Survey by Chelsea (Cheaper Homes Encouraged by Local Society of Estate Agents) reveals frantic activity on Aylsham Market. "Londoners think it's a bigger version of Burnham Market" says Desmond Trellis, managing director of Boltholes R Us and a leading member of the Stewkey Blues skiffle group.
Spotted on door outside panel-beater's yard near Barton Bendish: May we have the next dents, please!
March - Major blow to the development juggernaut rolling across Norfolk. Quarles, Oby, Godwick, Didlington and Wickmere form Cluster (Combination of Lovely Unspoilt Small Established Reservations). Immediate interest from Choseley, Egmere, Fring, Glandford, Kempstone, Oxwick, and Twyford. Little Snoring says big dormitories should be banned.
Spotted on Singing Postman Academy classroom window at Scole: I enjoy exams so much I usually take them twice.
April - Survey confirms more people eat fish-and-chips on Wells quayside than anywhere else along the East Anglian coast. "We are extremely grateful" says a plump seagull spokesman, right. Lunches for women what network banned on Bacton beach for fear of attracting too many hungry sand martins.
Spotted in Gorleston greetings card shop: Best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it …. once!
May - Soon-to-be-released survey will point to Wymondham as the most often mispronounced community in Norfolk. Costessey and Happisburgh will call for a recount. Mayor of Little Hautbois will be unavailable for comment. Free elocution lessons advertised in Garboldisham, Postwick and Salle.
Spotted in a wallpaper shop in Watton: Buy here and hang the consequences!
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June - Merger mania all the rage despite Yarmouth and Lowestoft again refusing to become Yartoft. Other Norfolk-Suffolk partnerships being mooted include Sculthorpe and Benacre. Get ready for Sculacre as a celebration brew! Felixstowe and Catfield vote against Stowfield - but Felixcat may claim a fresh clause on the merger manual.
Spotted on a busker's pitch on London Street in Norwich: To prevent embarrassing encores by entertainers, onlookers are advised to give quickly!
July - Mobility scooter drivers in Cromer claim they must use mobile phones at the wheel to keep in regular touch with family and friends too lazy to go shopping themselves. Cash-strapped councils seek timely boosts from 172 applications for fracking sites. "Even if they don't release any gas, they could make useful holes to take waste material unfit for incinerators" says spokesman with thick skin and hard hat.
Spotted outside an advice bureau in Saham Toney: Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.
August - Record temperatures. Two dozen windfarms in Blo'Norton area closed due to lack of natural resources. Landau drivers' strike on Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile "as a last resort" because of sweltering conditions. Horses relax in boating lake. Calls for culls of pigeons, deer, tourists and borehole diggers. Public toilet reopens in Burston.
Spotted on dressing-room door at Pavilion Theatre on Cromer Pier: I'm a pretty good ventriloquist - even if I say it myself.
September - Bottom falls out of housing market in Sloley. Plans for two new affordable bungalows on a brownfield site rejected as "gross impertinence to cattle born and raised in the community", More federations of village primary schools agreed although Welney, Winfarthing, Winterton, Wiggenhall St Germans, Wereham and West Winch claim there may be teething problems in pooling resources and sharing one headteacher.
Spotted in letter to west Norfolk village magazine: I hope someday I'm the last guy on earth. I want to see if all the women in this district were lying to me.
October - Anglia Television brings back Bygones by public demand. Helen McDermott turned down as regular presenter because "she's much too young". Nicholas Parsons invited and promises to reply, "in just a minute". Survival also tipped for a comeback with a Horsford man likely to front the show as he can remember when his home village was a small, tight-knit community.
Spotted on a church notice board in Broadland: Take a moment to unwind. Far better for you than unravelling.
November - All train drivers now assured of a seat each way on improved Norwich - London service although Manningtree remains closed after being declared a World Heritage Site. Scientists at Norwich Research Park cross a road with a chicken and get the answer we've all been waiting for. Biggest survey of bats ever held in Norfolk reveals best ones still made of locally-grown willow.
Spotted on door of a health shop in Reepham: Come in and enjoy our glutton-free diet!
December - Police called to a Sunday morning football fixture between under-10 sides in Norwich. While the youngsters play on regardless, parents fighting on the touchline are parted, shown red cards and sent to their rooms without any dinner. Head of Premier League VAR operations team popular choice to turn on Norwich festive lights.
Spotted in window of Holt high street shop: Save money this Christmas by simply buying your kids an Easter egg and telling them they overslept.