‘Round Robin’. A seasonal #fridayflash

A seasonal offering for #fridayflash which I offer for your yuletide enjoyment. Apologies to anyone named ‘Cox’ or residents of Shropshire.

Round Robin

 Dear Family and Friends


I can’t quite believe it, but it is THAT time of year again when I remove the cap on my metaphorical fountain pen, check the ink, smooth down the foolscap and begin writing the annual Cox Family letter.

Where to start? I suppose we ought to start at the very beginning, because as Julie Andrews suggests, it is a very good place to start; and who am I to argue with a National Treasure?

I know many of you will be wondering about the outcome of last Christmas’ Cox Family Scrabble Championship. It was, as always, a close run thing, the second round play off between Roger and Abigail proving a particular nail-biter. In the end it came down to penalties for unused letters, with Abigail conceding more points with an unplayed ‘z’, ‘q’ and ‘x’. The final was a rematch between Amanda and her partner Toni; Amanda prevailed yet again with a brilliant placement on a triple word square of ‘kibbutz’, cleaning up with a massive score including an extra fifty points for using all her tiles in one go. Toni retired to the kitchen to lick her war wounds and, hopefully, rethink her match-play strategy for this year’s event.

In February we decided to change our car for a newer model. I was hoping to ‘go green’ and purchase a low emissions eco car, but as anyone who knows Mary will tell you, she doesn’t hold with that kind of thing, so we ended up with another gas guzzler! It will probably put another degree or two on the global warming thermometer, but that’s life I suppose!

April was another ‘humdinger’ of a month when we had to take a serious look at our plumbing. The septic tank had been leaking into next door’s sunken spa pool cum hot tub for a couple of weeks, so it was high time to deal with it. Bob did a brilliant job and I’m pleased to report that the Cox family have been flushing with confidence ever since.

The summer wasn’t without high drama either as we had to make the difficult decorating decision between ‘Buttercup Meadow’ and ‘Daisy Daydream’ for the downstairs lavatory. I thought the Buttercup a tad moderne for our street; I must however confess that it does go particularly well with the tufted pedestal mat which Mary inherited from her Great Aunt Flora.

The most notable thing to have happened to any of us in the past year occurred during one of my regular visits to the mobile blood donor bus in August. Now, I know what you’re all saying: why did I risk going back to donate after that unsavoury episode last year when I found myself sharing a cubicle with the prefect I used to fag for in school? Well, what with our brave soldiers losing limbs by the truck full out in Kabul, and the surprisingly high incidence of gun crime in this part of Shropshire, I believe it is my duty to do what I can. I duly turned up at nine thirty one Thursday morning and was ‘hooked up’ by a very attentive male nurse called Phillip. At nine forty-three all hell broke loose when the woman opposite, who, it transpired, was anaemic, ripped out her line and promptly collapsed. I won’t go into the gory details; suffice to say that it will have taken Phillip and his colleagues a considerable time to clean up the poor woman’s plasma from the mobile unit’s ceiling. As he said at the time, at least it was only O negative, and there’s plenty of that around. I was rather put out because they asked me to leave before I had a chance to avail myself of the complimentary custard creams, but that’s life, (as they say!).

Well, I seem to be coming to the end of the page, so it is probably time to sign off. Not much else of note occurred during the remainder of the year. In September Mary and I climbed Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Starlight Players’ forthcoming production of ‘Rent’, and in October Mum finally succumbed to the septic boil which had been causing her so much discomfort. We shall miss her Christmas trifle terribly!


On behalf of the entire Cox clan, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an even Happier 2012! Until the same time next year, au revoir, (as they say!).


P.S. We didn’t receive a single ticket for the Olympic Games. Toni and Amanda were bitterly disappointed. I can’t believe THAT many people were interested in the women’s beach volleyball, but there you go!

Copyright: Flyingscribbler 2011


15 comments on “‘Round Robin’. A seasonal #fridayflash

  1. Lara Dunning says:

    Sounds like you had a quite a year. Cheers to 2012!

  2. John Wiswell says:

    I, for one, am occasionally passionately interested in women’s beach volleyball.

  3. adampb says:

    Being an Australian, I can confidently say I am behind women’s beach volleyball.
    On another note, I wrote something similar for my #fridayflash this week too, but yours is far funnier than mine. Might have to start up a family Scrabble challenge.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  4. Steve Green says:

    Haha! Justin, thanks for brightening my day with this hilarious tale. 🙂

    PS. Personally I CAN believe that THAT many people would be interested in women’s beach volleyball. 🙂

  5. gailaldwin says:

    Love it! There was a cringeworthy feature on boastful round robins on Radio 4’s You & Yours today.

  6. cookme25 says:

    Sounds like an exciting year!!! A very funny letter! I loved it.

  7. Helen says:

    Ha ha I’ve actually received one or two Christmas news letters like this, to which I open and groan loudly! Least you made me laugh.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours!

  8. What a ripper! That made me laugh so much my in-laws exploded. Thanks Justin.. I really needed cheering up.. post-chrimbo blues are setting in and that was the perfect cure..Love the voice again.

  9. Icy Sedgwick says:

    I think it says a lot that so much space is devoted to scrabble, yet the loss of the mother gets a single sentence.

    Wonderful use of voice.

  10. Deborah Rickard says:

    Loved it! I started laughing with “I know many of you will be wondering about the outcome of last Christmas’ Cox Family Scrabble Championship.” And knew I was in for a good read.

  11. Sorry I’m late getting here :-))
    I strongly suspect that you have somehow gotten hold of MY family’s newsletter and just changed a few small things. (I only got stuck with V and Q) :-)) A cute idea for a holiday flash, nice work! Happy New Year to you and yours.

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