Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Battley-Tapley Christmas Letter 2008

Well, what a year 2008's been in the Battley-Tapley household! There have been tears, joy, and laughter for us, unlike for those of you from whom we haven't received a Christmas letter: whose lives we can only assume have been utterly eventless.

The big news, of course, this year, is that it looks like Natt's alcoholism is finally under control. In the past few months we have been able to visit bars, restaurants, and zoos with relative confidence. Not since August has he jumped onto a dessert trolley and started smearing himself with Black Forest Gateau, or improperly fondled a koala. We pray that his progress continues through 2009, and the courts agree to remove his tag at his hearing in April!

Zoe's ongoing course of botox and regenerative gene therapy has really kicked her career up a few notches, and she is now appearing as 'a human statue' in Covent Garden, no less! She isn't enjoying the commute, and her ongoing feud with one of the fire jugglers has caused some problems, but she struggles on, and hopes to be promoted to the South Bank soon!

2008 also saw the birth of our fourth child, Enrique, who was taken away by bailiffs because of the credit crunch.

Still, let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's nothing worse than a Christmas letter that is anything but completely thorough, so here we go...

JANUARY saw the slaughter of Amanda, our pig. We hated to have to do it, but she was looking very old and tasty. Seeing Eleanor playing in the warm entrails of the sow that had once suckled her (during Zoe's post-natal depression) was really special, and emphasised how lucky we are to have a daughter and some delicious sausages.

FEBRUARY was a difficult month, that saw Zoe convicted of a 'road rage'. To clarify, because there have been a lot of falsehoods disseminated about this incident in the press, Zoe was not naked at the time. She was wearing a hat, and a bandolier full of ammunition.

MARCH was a very proud month, as Eleanor won the Nobel Prize for Physics for her work on the Planck scale, and quantum fluctuations in space-time. She also got her Grade 3 Oboe (no distinction this time), and a 25 metre swimming badge.

APRIL saw our annual hibernation. It was perhaps our most successful hibernation since 1996.

MAY was the month in which Natt's one-man show, an adaptation of Hamlet,with Natt doing all of the voices took to the stage - or should we say, the pavement! Eschewing fusty traditional venues, One Man Hamlet was an exciting experiment in open air theatre: a performance without the gaudy appurtenances of lighting, costumes, or an audience. In a rave review, Westminster Council called it 'a public nuisance'.

JUNE saw Eleanor complete the first leg of her around-the-world tricycle ride. Unfortunately, her record-breaking attempt had to be cut short when she was accosted by a group of road-pirates in the Urals, and was sold into white slavery. She smuggled her way back into Britain in a Somalian's stomach.

JULY failed to produce any notable events for our family. We think that this is probably July's fault, and have decided not to participate in July in 2009.

AUGUST was the month in which the Olympic fever gripped the country. Zoe's stalwart efforts in the pole vault won her a nomination as BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and a ruptured vagina. The heroic way in which she limped from the field, and gamely applied ice and bandages to her crotch won the nation's hearts.

SEPTEMBER, as ever, was an exciting time, as Zoe's birthday party loomed. Once again, the party guests were treated to a torrent of personal abuse, watered-down alcohol, and the sight of Zoe staring drink-sodden into a mirror, clawing at her face and weeping: 'Where did it all go so very wrong.' Great fun!

OCTOBER was the month in which Eleanor finally made us very proud grandparents. After 15 long months, she provided us with a grandson, Patrice. Her boyfriend, Malcolm, works at an abattoir, sweeping up blood, but this will only be true whilst he is on remand, after which he plans to train as a teacher. We would have preferred it if they were married, but Malcolm already has a wife and four children, so we understand why they thought that it would be both inappropriate and illegal.

NOVEMBER saw Natt back in prison, the victim, yet again, of mistaken identity. Once again, we would appeal for anyone who has seen the violent, drunken groper of women and animals who just happens to share Natt's name and face and DNA to come forward. Your evidence could be vital.

DECEMBER isn't even finished yet, and already we know it's going to be the best Christmas ever. The family portraits in the attic grow ever more demented and hideous, which can only augur well for the new year!

Natt and Zoe and Eleanor and Patrice wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy 2009. Have a wonderfully festive period.


N, Z & E