Breaking news from the last few hours of 2013 - a giant yellow duck placed in the harbour of Taiwan has exploded, and officials believe that it was attacked by eagles. The duck had only just been repaired after it had suffered the same fate last month as a result of an earthquake. Fowl play is not suspected.
I have yet to scan the New Year's Honours list, but I am beginning to think that - once again - I have been overlooked, and my services as self-appointed 'arbiter of taste' have gone unrecognised.
I suppose this is the fate which awaits all those who - like me - attempt to hide our lights under Bushells, and slip in and out of society leaving a trail of anonymous good deeds for which we will never truly be thanked by a grateful nation. I only have myself to blame for this apparent oversight, and like the rest of the team who discovered the Higgs-Boson particle, I will just have to zip my mouth and watch some other extrovert soak up all the credit.
Just like the Higgs-Bosun particle project, most of my more noteworthy achievements of 2013 were conceived in a pub. The pub in Cambridge where Higgs thrashed out the accelerator theory with about 20 others was called 'The Eagle' - spooky, when you find out that the giant rubber duck in Taiwan was destroyed by one only yesterday.
I briefly lived in Cambridge during the early 1970s and sometimes frequented The Eagle but, try as I might, I can find nothing spooky about this fact, other than that I was - as usual - ahead of my time. This is called 'early doors' where I come from.
I have signed a confidentiality agreement which prevents me from showing you most of my more spectacular achievements of 2013, and I believe (and hope) that this is because my client would like to keep me all to himself throughout 2014 and beyond, so I am going to have to make do with a more public project, also conceived in a public house, and this is the public house itself.
I took on the persona and mannerisms of Linda Snell in order to push this little renovation through as quickly and efficiently as possible, and I think it is only now that my reasons for turning into her are becoming clear to the 536 owners, several thousand regulars and The Board, despite the fact that my choice of colour for the woodwork still causes violent conflict, even in the season of goodwill. I feel sure that Robert Plant is on my side though, which is all that matters to me.
Here's wishing you as prosperous a 2014 as I have just had in 2013 - so don't expect any more than keeping your head above water. At least the colour of the door keeps the wolves away.