As I write 2017 is drawing to a close and like many I wonder what 2018 has in store for us. I am no fan of New Year’s Eve and the turn of the year, how will a new number at the end of a date make a difference? I find it difficult to exchange embraces with people I hardly know and whom I would probably avoid at any other time of year, however it seems by tradition to be the time of year for reflection and speculation.

When I heard on the media that our politicians may well be gearing up for another round of talks it set me thinking. We’ve been here before maybe once or twice, what if everybody comes to the end of their tether? What if nobody wants us?

What if the EU, the US, the rest of the UK and the Republic just get fed up with us and walk off and leave us to our own devices?  But how could they? Sure we’re such a pleasant, loveable wee collection of people and sure aren’t we such good craic!

Tip of the hat

Since it is that time of year I have been trying to set right things that have been puzzling me over the course of the last twelve months. For some reason I have been contemplating the true value of a lifetime guarantee. Perhaps it’s an aging thing but it would seem only fair that as you get older you should you get a discount since your lifespan is reducing and it will therefore be less expensive for the company offering the guarantee.

You know the kind of thing I mean. Some cars for example come with a lifetime guarantee; some cooking utensils make a similar claim. I did a little digging around and was informed that a lifetime guarantee seems to mean that the item is guaranteed for as long as it keeps working which I think means that they will gladly repair or replace it until it actually breaks which really makes little sense to me.

Then I discovered something, which sounds as if it really does do what it says on the tin. I was recently in Bakewell in the Peak District and had cause to be loitering outside a draper’s shop when something in the window caught my eye. It was a clipping from ‘The Guardian’ which recounted the story of the owner of a certain make of hat who complained that the seam had given way after seventeen years of constant use. The company replaced the hat without a quibble. Now that’s what I call a lifetime guarantee. Hat wearers, I can give you the name of the company on request.

Slack advertising?

Why do I have such problems with words? A few weeks ago I was contacted by some one who declared their intention of coming to the shop to indulge in a little bit of epeolatry and did I mind? Well after having recourse to the dictionary I declared myself to be delighted. I was on the other hand a little bewildered when I noticed this label on the recent purchase of a pair of trousers. Climate Control, it read. Well they were green, could that be it? Was I making a contribution to saving the planet? I decided to contact the makers to discover exactly what it was I had bought. They were kind enough to reply. It transpires that the trousers are designed using modern technology to maintain maximum comfort for the wearer, which I thought was kind of the point of trousers.

[Epeolatry, for those without a dictionary handy, literally means the worship of words - Ed.]

The spring is sprung…

As time moves inexorably on I am constantly delighted that one is never too old to experience new things. As I said previously I was in England over the holiday season.  We were staying in Sheffield with relatives. They have a lovely home and we were really pleased not to be staying in a hotel. After having had such an early start I was only too happy to be offered the opportunity to have a lie down before the festivities began. I was dozing quietly and then was awakened by the sounds of more visitors arriving. On attempting to get up I suddenly felt the bed begin to fold in on top of me. I felt as if I was in a B movie caught in the maw of a giant clam or of a Venus Fly-trap. I fought to extricate myself, only succeeding with the help of loved ones. You may think to yourself that that’s what happens with those pick-up beds, but this was a real bed. I put it down to a design fault or poor quality steelwork but I tell you what, it’s a pretty good icebreaker when you’re meeting people for the first time.

Note to self; it really is time to sign up for this weight loss programme.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.