Thursday, 1 January 2015


FB wishes his world wide readership a very happy new year.
Over the years Fantasy Bob's attempts at the New Year Resolution have never got very far. 

This will come as no surprise to those who have seen him attempt to play leg spin bowling.  Nowehere is to be found a better display of irresolution.

FB understands that it was the ancient Babylonians who started all this resolution nonsense.  For reasons best known to themselves, instead of doing something useful like inventing cricket, they got themselves in the habit of making promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects.  The records do not show whether this led to an annual surge of Babylonian lawn mowers being taken back to their rightful Babylonian owners, or whether things just went on as before.

FB would like to think that the Babylonians were honourable and stuck to their resolutions. But the evidence from other civilisations is not encouraging.  Certainly the school friend to whom FB entrusted his precious copy of Days by the Kinks in 1968 was not of the Babylonian persuasion, for that record has never been returned.  FB supposes it is always possible that his friend will be converted to Babylonianism at a late stage in life and will duly return the disc. He looks forward to that happy day.
Babylonians doing Babylonian things

In 2007 a study involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail despite the fact that 52% of the study's participants were confident of success.  FB suspects that none of the subjects was Babylonian but even  had the study been conducted 4000 years ago he doubts the results would have been any different.

And yet the obsession with New Year Resolutions persists and the media, for want of anything better to print, devote pages and pages to fatuous advice on how to make and stick to resolutions.  Be positive, be specific, be realistic, FB read them all.  He has sought advice from counsellors, mentors and significant others.  Mrs FB in particular.  Last year FB decided that the time for action had arrived - he would heed one of her many suggestions.

One morning she remarked, in what seemed to FB an unnecessarily trenchant manner, 'It would be good if you could resolve to put your cricket kit in a place that I am not likely to fall over it all the time.'

FB duly resolved and declared his intention to his life partner as the strains of Auld Lang Syne rang out.  FB could not decide whether her snort in response indicated approbation or scepticism.

Anyway things went well.  There was a complete absence of tripping incidents or stubbed toes for the entire month of January.  FB basked in his achievement.  He felt positively virtuous, Babylonian in fact.

February was going well.  FB had this cracked. There was nothing to this resolution stuff. But pride comes before a fall.

The summons to indoor nets did it.  The morning after FB's quiet breakfast contemplation was disturbed by a thump and a crash in the hall followed by a series of choice epithets whose illocutionary force seemed to question  the reason both for FB's existence, implying it was somewhat hopeless, and the necessity of his cricket kit finding itself once again in a place where the speaker was bound to fall over it.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Mrs FB thinks it is also paved with cricket bags which the virtuous stumble on.

The force of his failure is still upon him so FB has resolved this year that he will make no resolutions. Can he stick with this one? Or is it more likely that he will finally get his copy of Days back?


  1. The Festive Season is notable for 2 domestic developments - one is the high incidence of marital breakdown, prompted by the stresses of having to spend time together. The other, less easy to explain, is the purchase of sofas. Both FB and his Mrs should congratulate themselves on having surmounted a mighty hurdle. As for the problem of the cricket bag, perhaps the installation of a dedicated locker might be a solution - the Babylonians would surely have approved.

    1. Oh no - Mrs FB has just passed the observation that a new sofa might be necessary.

  2. So the DFS winter sale beckons after all. FB can comfort himself with the thought that the forthcoming Six Nations Rugby tournament can be followed in unmatched luxury. A worthwhile sacrifice.