Old Timmy’s Almanac 2019

After my 100% non-success rate last year, I’ve wiped the Christmas pudding from my crystal ball again in the hope that this time it will be different. Let us, in the words of Her Majesty, practice goodwill to all in 2019 and keep our fingers firmly crossed. Old Timmy’s Almanac is your essential guide to the new year once more.


Ignoring the Queen’s Christmas message, Prime Minister Theresa May has all MPs who oppose her EU withdrawal bill (the best possible deal ever, trust me, I have an honest face™) locked up in the Tower of London. The bill passes by 3 votes to nil, with the support of former Lib Dem MP Stephen Lloyd. The third vote in favour is that of Jeremy Corbyn, who insists that he is still playing the long game.


Jacob Rees-Mogg organises a daring escape attempt from the Tower of London, supported by his ERG chums. Climbing onto the wall above the Traitor’s Gate, he persuades them that half a dozen British ravens will fly them all to safety in an empty Fortnum and Mason hamper. As they all get in, the ravens decide that it’s probably best to vacate the tower and leave the country to its fate.


In the manner that has been typical of her premiership, Theresa May forgets to get royal assent for her EU withdrawal bill. The UK crashes out of the EU at 11pm on the 29th. Big Ben bongs once and then collapses into the Thames in embarrassment.


Jeremy Corbyn joins the Conservatives saying that he misses being in a mad Bolshevik party. Corbyn supporters on twitter tell Conservatives that don’t like this move to go and join the Labour Party, socialist s*** that they obviously are.


Derby County fail to be promoted to the Premier League yet again.


In an attempt to deal with increasing shortages of everything, Chris Grayling awards transportation contracts to an air freight company with no aeroplanes, a haulage company with no trucks, and a ferry operator with no ships. (Not the last one, that’s far too improbable. Perhaps a train operator with no trains? Ed.)

Brexit air freight
Brexit air freight


Using a little known parliamentary tactic, Jacob Rees-Mogg seizes control of the government. Theresa May heaves a huge sigh of relief as she is sent to the tower. His first act as prime minister is to introduce tax relief for families employing more than three nannies and to declare Latin the official language of parliament.


Jacob Rees-Mogg is ousted through a no-confidence vote of Conservative MPs. Parliament votes for a six month recess. The country immediately starts to recover a little from the privations of Brexit. Supermarket shelves are now stocked with exciting new British foods, but strictly rationed by a beta app which only works on Blackberry handsets. Government Digital Services (GDS) promise to release a beta for the Nokia 3310 soon.


Frank Lampard is sacked as Derby County manager. In a surprise move, Mel Morris appoints Jacob Rees-Mogg in his place. Nottingham Forest supporters rejoice, until Theresa May is appointed their manager the following day. In an unprecedented show of unity, Derby and Forest fans threaten to blockade the A52 until both are removed.


Rees-Mogg and May are sacked. Derby fans cheer the reappointment of Billy Davies as their manager, while Nottingham Forest fans are overcome with joy at the return of Steve McLaren.


Formula E remains almost watchable. The World Feed commentator now understands what a yellow flag is for. However, he has to consult his co-commentator as to the meaning of the “lovely black and white square patterned one”.


Professional MasterChef is won by George, a sous-chef at the Spoon and Gammon. His main course of rat three ways (carpaccio, sous-vide and boiled) with flowers that might not be too poisonous and a mud jus is praised by the judges. As the credits roll, we learn that William Sitwell, food critic and former Waitrose Food magazine editor, is finally out of hospital after an unfortunate incident with a turnip during knockout week.

Tick, tick, tick …

In another twelve days I’ll be checking into the haematology ward at Nottingham City Hospital. There will be another week of intensive chemotherapy, with my stem cell transplant scheduled for 13th September – hence my blog’s countdown clock. It will be my re-birthday. I wonder if I will get presents and a party? Tick, tick, tick …

I’ve recovered well following the end of ‘regular’ chemotherapy and stem cell harvest in July. I’m back above 90kg again, having dipped below 86kg at one point. My trousers no longer fall down without a belt and one of my newer shirts felt a little bit tight yesterday. I still get tired easily, but I’ve managed a week away in the Peak District, driven the Caterham around, seen friends and eaten out a few times. I even went to the cinema for the first time in ages yesterday to watch “Christopher Robin”. I was pleased to see that the film stars a grey (or gray) Disney Eeyore much like my own, liberated from the USA in 2001.

Eeyore - I don’t remember being cheery
“I don’t remember being cheery”

I can’t say that I’m looking forward to September. My consultant says that I’ve around a 98% or 99% chance of living through the experience. A 5%-10% chance of complications so serious that I end up in intensive care. He says it’s almost certain I’ll get some kind of fever and need pumping full of antibiotics. Whatever happens the transplant won’t cure my lymphoma, but it will prolong my remission. Hopefully for many years. The raw statistics for MCL would seem to bear his assessment out.

My consultant may seem more of an Eeyore than I am. And I’m more of an Eeyore than, well, Eeyore. But I’m not a number or an average. Nothing bad has happened so far, so I have to believe that nothing bad will happen in the next month.

I am looking forward to recovering and finding out what my “new normal” is. I can’t wait to get rid of my Hickman line, even though it’s easier to cope with than the PICC I had earlier on. I’d like the tiredness to go away and the chemo-brain moments to be less frequent. I want to go back to work. I will contribute to society again.

I have big plans for 2019 (and the tail end of 2018, too).

Tick, tick, tick …