Back of the net!
You'll be pleased to learn that my mission to Paris was a successful one. I gave a fine account of myself and I'm sure you'd have all been dead proud of me. She was a stayer, which is the way I like 'em these days. Start 'em off slow, keep 'em nice and steady, tighten the reins, keep your stirrups just this side of middle and get your head down for the final 2 furlongs, galloping away for all you're worth. Cross the finish line with arm outstretched in triumph, perform an elaborate dismount (not too quick, she might still be keen), job's a good 'un, good old Flashy heads for the Winner's Enclosure, a dead cert for Champion Jockey again this year.
But I have to say: the trip didn't improve my opinion of the French any, damn fool Frogs the lot of 'em. What have they got against toilets, rot 'em? 1 cubicle per restaurant if you're lucky? 20 minute queue to waggle your widget after a heavy night's boozing? Can't be good for their health, that. No wonder they're in such a rush when they're driving - they're all desperate to get home for a slash.
The actual countdown to New Year was a bit of an anti-climax, though. (Actually, for me it was more of a post-climax, but I won't go into any more detail. Give that man a rosette!) Stood in what I thought was a capital spot next to the Arc de Triomphe, with champion views of a faraway Eiffel Tower and within spitting distance of the cordoned off Champs Elysees. (Great sight to behold all those Frenchies, stuck baying behind a barricade. Fair warms the heart, it does).
But turned out to be a bit of a damp squib - as not only no 'dix to un' countdown (I'd rehearsed it all day), but barely a firework to be seen - the penny-pinching, ill-mannered, garlicky gits. Apparently they let some off by their crappy ferris wheel 'dans la rue' (ain't he a drag act?),where they're making a big push for the 2012 Olympics.
Well, seeing as drunkenly cycling around roundabouts the wrong way ain't an Olympic sport just yet, I vote they give it to London. At least we would provide toilets.
The entire East End, for example.
So how did your New Year go? Any resolutions?
My New Year's resolution is for more of the same.
And plenty of the other.
FLASHMAN STRIKES AGAIN!
Paul Rodgers is not the best thing since fried Fred.