By Andy Capon
Well, 2020 wasn’t great, was it? On the plus side, it’s almost over. But remember that old Samurai adage, “After the battle, tighten your chin straps”. 2021 isn’t going to be any easier for us in Faversham. Using data collected from the NatWest and Barclays’ queues, stuff I overheard in the pub and tea-leaf reading, I can now walk you through 2021 and tell you about the highs and lows - you can expect.
We’re going straight into lockdown, that’s for sure. Remember, Faversham is part of Swale has possibly the highest infection rate in the UK. And the first step towards solving this will be the closure of both Greggs’ bakeries in Sittingbourne in January with a brand new branch opening on the island of Sheerness. This will be followed by the closure of JD Sports in Sittingbourne, and a new branch opening in Sheppey. Seeing as that 86% of Sittingbourne folk get their food and clothes from Greggs and JD Sports, they will flock to the island. Once there, the bridges will be removed and the island towed out to sea, where the Royal Navy will sink it.
The Covid-19 vaccine will prove marginally effective, but it will have positive side effects, including memory gain and the belief that the weather is always the same, even when it’s not. Locals will think that it’s sunny all the time, and that they’re benefiting from a good dose of vitamin D, boosting their serotonin levels. This will in turn boost the local economy, with people feeling good enough to buy stuff they don’t need. But, with so many residents still at risk from Covid-19, this sudden urge to shop will inevitably lead to a further spread and Faversham could see itself in a tier FOUR scenario before we know it. This is the most extreme of tiers, with locals forced to live in separate rooms from their family, after first dividing their house in two like Steptoe and Son once did.
Valentine’s Day 2021 won’t be the same either. There will be nowhere to take your partner for a meal because everywhere will be closed, and you’ll only be allowed to visit them for one minute to deliver flowers, which will have to be shoved through the letterbox.
Helen Whately will step down as an MP and move into acting. Rumour has it, she’s already auditioned for the role of Bette Davis’s Jane Hudson for a remake of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. It’s also rumoured that Priti Patel will play Joan Crawford’s part. Whately’s also being tipped to play Suzi Quatro in an upcoming biopic. Think about it. You can barely tell them apart.
That huge pothole in Abbey Fields is going to get larger, and will claim its first fatality as Faversham Town Council continues to try to establish who actually owns the road. Local residents will take the law into their own hands and fill in the hole with bricks and gravel, but only after someone, a small person probably, disappears. Or it could become a haven for cavers and potholers.
Faversham copper Sgt Stan Murch will be promoted to Chief Inspector Murch after arresting Lord Lucan who will appear in the Bear Inn corridor. People will continue to disappear in the corridor once the pub opens and it’s likely that it will be made into an open-plan venue by doing away with said corridor altogether.
A tree in Stonebridge Way has been chosen to play the part of the haunted one that snatches the kid from his bed in yet another remake of Poltergeist. It will be filmed in Faversham as, post-Brexit, it will be cheaper to fly the film crew into the UK than it will be to export the tree to Hollywood.
Macknade Food Hall will go out of business after the middle-class DFLs discover that Aldi sells organic quinoa and hand-knitted yoghurts at a fraction of the price. Macknade will fight back with a centre aisle selling arc welders and badminton sets, but it won’t be enough. They’ll be forced to close and the land will be sold for yet more housing developments.
The University of West Ospringe will begin to produce cheese made from Womble milk harvested on the Womble farm in Stalisfield, and Uncle Bulgaria will become the first fictional character to attend a UK university. VC Brain Pain of the University of Ospringewill also fund the opening of the Teynham Institute of Technology, or TIT for short.
There will be job losses in the summer. A local hot tub company will make its sales staff redundant after everyone in Boughton-under-Blean boasts that they have one in their garden. It will begin with a family in Colonel’s Lane putting a picture up on Facebook of them in their hot tub, and this will be followed by the entire village joining in as they try to outdo each other. This may lead to a water shortage on which Bob Geldof will capitalise by installing a pump in his pond at Davington Priory.
Now... Pubs. This is the burning issue for many of you, I know. And I reckon this is what will happen... Only pubs that have gardens with walls either side that are over six feet tall will be allowed to open, provided they have enough space for drinkers standing six feet apart. Special mini-megaphones will be issued for those wishing to converse while drinking, which you can only do while wearing a mask that has been treated with neat alcohol and chloroform.
The opening hours will be from between 10.09pm and 2.37am, Monday to Thursday, and 11am to 11.15am, Saturday to Monday. Drinkers will be limited to an hour’s drinking time and to three and a third pints only. Licencees will not be allowed to serve due to social distancing measures, and drinkers will simply help themselves, provided they are at least two metres from the bar but are in the garden at the same time, nine feet from the nearest friend, who must live in your home.
That’s it for now. If I hear anything else, I’ll let you know. Stay safe and have a wonderful Christmas.