Confidential interviews the year about its up and downs
We interview things which don't normally have a voice and get them to spill the beans. This time its the turn of a whole year.
So 2019, what sort of year have you been?
2019: A difficult one. Volcanoes, famine, drought, floods, war, disease, bush fires, international cyber-spying, possible death camps in western China. Oh and Manchester gained a new and typically weird Santa in Piccadilly Gardens. Can you believe that?
We’ll talk about Manchester later. Surely it wasn’t all bad?
2019: There were funny moments, sure. Watching Prince Andrew demonstrating how never to give an interview and then being placed under house arrest by his mother, that made me laugh. As soon as he stopped speaking as a trade envoy, I’m sure the British economy grew by 10%.
Anything or anybody else make you giggle?
2019: Jeremy Corbyn. In his speech after the general election, he said Labour’s policies had been ‘extremely popular’. They were so extremely popular the Conservatives now have a majority of 80 seats. Totally delusional. That’s unfinished business though.
What do you mean?
2019: Corbyn didn’t resign immediately. Such arrogance. He’s lounging around still as the party leader, just like a Jacob Rees Mogg on a green leather bench in the House of Commons. That was funny as well in a twisted way. Talk about a definition of disdain.
You must have enjoyed some other things, dear sir?
2019: Eh, sir? I don't identify as male or female. One of the most satisfying things during my time is the rise of self-definition despite evidence and nature. I am a gender neutral year. In fact I'm not going to identify as 2019, I'm going to identify as 1964, I think that was fairly kind year. Although best not look it up, no doubt lots of beastly things happened somewhere. Come to think of it there were things I enjoyed in me.
2019: I loved the Cricket World Cup. That final with England and Ben Stokes was the best ever. In sport I'll be remembered for that. I've got a nice Manchester fact here as well.
Is it about Old Trafford cricket ground?
2019: Yes, it hosted the most over-subscribed single team game in world history. For the India v Pakistan match more than 700,000 people applied for 26,000 tickets.
Wow, I'd forgotten that, and Manchester City won the Premier League.
2019: They did, for the second running with the most points ever, 100. And Manchester United underperformed again, while poor Bury FC went bust. Manchester got something else as well as the Premier League champions.
What was that?
2019: It gained the fifth tallest building in the UK, at Deansgate Square, 659ft, 201m. Although not everybody likes tall buildings in Manchester. Not sure why? Nice views from up there. Then there was all the climate crisis stuff and people wanting more green space in Manchester. You'll be getting a lot more of that in my successor, 2020. Oh and Piccadilly Gardens was shit during me and will remain shit for the latter.
You certainly know your facts and stats.
2019: I do. I am all about stats. And surely the whole city is happy now? Everybody's dreams are fulfilled. Paradise is come.
What do you mean?
2019: Jeez, have you forgotten? The epic Mancunian whinge is over. The talk can stop. Manchester gained a Michelin star with Mana and Simon Martin in Ancoats. Although when you think about it...
2019: There were hardly choirs spontaneously forming in Harpurhey and Beswick to sing in celebration and rush off for the taster menu.
It made foodies such as us happier. Given all the good restaurants in Manchester, it's nice to add that string to our bow. You can be a cynical year.
2019: We all are, everyone of us years. Maybe not 1964, but I don't want to know. And you know, surely all that famine, drought, pestilence and war this was offset by universal joy with Greg and Amber winning Love Island, ha, ha, you people. I tell you what though, we got some good words during me?
Which words were they?
2019: Prorogue. Who saw that one coming? Impeach has taken over by my ending though. Not that Trump will lose his job, as the principal and most powerful Twitter lunatic. My favourite word, however, was mumpsimus.
What does that mean?
2019: It means me in a way and you lot. It means something or someone who obstinately adheres to old customs or ideas in spite of evidence that they are wrong or unreasonable.
Isn't that what Greta Thunberg is trying to stop us doing?
2019: Tell her, good luck with that, no matter how much she pootles around in boats.
Are you glad to see the back of yourself?
2019: I am very glad. Sick to death of me. I’m going to make a New Year’s resolution though.
2019: To not look back, but look forward. Think good thoughts. Positive thinking.
You sound like Boris Johnson saying everything will be ok if he just keeps repeating it. Why are you laughing?
2019: You might be right because when I think about it I feel sorry for 2020, that poor bugger’s got 365 days of it coming. It won’t be all its fault though. Just like this year wasn’t mine.
What do you mean?
2019: I blame 2016, what a little shit of a year that was. It should be ashamed of itself causing so much upheaval.
Hey, it might not be that bad....
2019: Now you are sounding like Boris. Anyway I’m off.
2019: Into the history books.