11th December, 2014
Well that's another year in – isn't it amazing how time passes so quickly? And so much seems to have happened in the last twelve months, too.
This year has seen Tony extremely busy at work, four big contracts, all successful – a middle-east businessman, a Mexican politician (there's so much work there at the moment), a Russian oligarch (the trickiest) and the wife of a Singapore doctor who wanted to set up with someone twenty years younger. Tony prides himself on his work, but was thrilled to receive the Guardian International Hit-Man Of The Year award in October.
Jennifer's business continues to go from strength to strength. She now has a staff of eleven, most of whom are from eastern Europe, and she her services are developing a fine reputation across the city. One new innovation is the serving of scrambled eggs, topped either with crispy bacon or smoked salmon, after what she rather old-fashionedly terms "the main course". Well, it makes a nice change from a pizza delivery. Relations with the authorities have been rocky at times this year – she received a Police Caution in February and narrowly avoided a more serious charge in August only because very conveniently all the prosecution evidence vanished from the police store mysteriously. However, Jennifer's new "Discount Loyalty Card" system has proved popular within the local constabulary and goodwill has been restored.
In the meantime, Tony and Jennifer have been very busy with their new conservatory, and now they enjoy their breakfast there every morning. Jennifer has also been very busy redesigning the front garden, which now features a rockery with a wide range of alpine plants, while both Tony and Jennifer have been consolidating last year's work on the back garden by spending many happy evenings drinking red wine into the sunset!
Timmy's rock band has just released its fourth single, a number called Smash Your Face Into The Wall. They've had some internal difficulties this year – the bass player wanted to kick Timmy out, claiming that his only contribution to the band was to sing, which he did out of tune – but it was nothing that couldn't be sorted with a flick-knife. As an experiment, Timmy himself is now playing bass until the bass player recovers.
Leigh-Ann celebrated her sixteenth birthday in April along with her two sons; Jennifer and she have come to an excellent arrangement where Jennifer looks after Zoot and Boot while Leigh-Ann earns some money working in Jennifer's family business.
Daniel turned twenty-one this year, which was a cause for great celebration. Daniel is really developing an ability with money – his twenty-pound note is quite indistinguishable from the real thing but all of his work is of a high standard. This year it's allowed the family to pay all of its employees out of our own produce as well as allowing Tony and Jennifer the odd fun night out at the casino. Speaking of which, there was a nasty incident at the casino in June where we caught the croupier cheating. The police seemed to think Tony might have had something to do with his appearance face-down in the local river two days later, so for a few days John Clark, our solicitor, had to threaten to sue them for defamation.
Jennifer has a new car, a Vauxhall Astra in red, her favourite colour of course. She particularly likes the two front seats, each of which have heating elements, always very welcome in the winter. She uses it a lot when she goes to walk the dogs either by the sea-shore or in the woods. Sadly, we had a misfortune in March when our two Staffordshire bull terriers, Pontius and Herod, chased after and mauled a six-year-old child to death. The court insisted that we have them put down, which seemed to us very unfair – after all, they'll have been seriously provoked by the little boy. After all, everyone knows what little boys are like at that age, don't they? Anyway, a friend of ours managed to get hold of a couple of replacements, Japanese Tosa dogs which are actually banned but we just tell the neighbours that they're some sort of cross-breed. We've learned not to mind what the neighbours think, and to tell the truth they're not very sociable – we get the feeling sometimes that they'd rather avoid us. Their loss.
This year we had four lovely holidays: Argentina in February, Thailand in May, Russia in October and Afghanistan in November. The Russian and Afghan trips gave us plenty of opportunities to pick up some lovely potplants and jewellery which we were able to fly back, which many of you can look forward receiving when Santa comes down the chimney! And of course there's our country cottage near Balmoral which gives us so much pleasure.
Not all of our family news has been good, however. Tony's brother Alex sadly passed away in April when he stepped into the path of very heavy steamroller near his farm – it was very messy, and when Tony went to identify the body it took him more than five minutes to walk all the way round. Then, just two months later Jennifer's aunt was shot and killed while carrying out an armed raid on a bank in a nearby town. Not a bad way to go out at eighty-seven, though! We've had all the usual coughs and sneezes of course, but we continue to enjoy good health generally.
Finally, if you happen to be reading this, we should let you know that all of our Christmas cards this year were actually posted, along with this letter, by John Clark, that excellent solicitor we mentioned earlier. After receiving last year's great wad of inane, pointless Christmas circular letters, Tony and Jennifer decided that if they received equal or greater numbers in 2014, they would put their suicide pact into operation. As a result we're sorry to inform you that on the 4th December, we retired to the garage where Tony lovingly blew Jennifer's brains out with the family shotgun, then turned the gun on himself. This will therefore be the last Christmas card and letter you'll receive from us, and you can look forward to saving a stamp next year.
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, and all the best for 2015!
Jennifer and Tony