Olde Plokta's Almanack for 1997

Being a nice and accurate account of the dayes to come in the proleptick year of Nineteen Hundred and Ninety Seven.

Jan 10th -- Steve and Giulia fly off to Hobart, Tasmania. UK technology industry declares day of national mourning. Steve picks up £1000 digital camera in duty-free. Well, that's all right thenà

Jan 13th -- Alison goes into contractions contraptions and starts shrieking with pain. UK pethidine industry declares day of national celebration. Pregnant, virgin mother of St Mungo (7th century) set afloat in a coracle on the Firth of Forth by outraged boyfriend (allegedly). St Mary and the Blessed Midge skeptical.

Jan 18th -- Steve and Giulia get married (5pm, Hobart time). Alison probably still in labour.

Jan 22nd -- Steve and Giulia in Melbourne. Alison in agony. Luggage in New York.

Jan 23rd -- This saint's day intentionally left blank.

Jan 26th -- Australia Day. Steve and Giulia in Sydney. Alison should have given birth by now but giant lizards have a long gestation period. Two unsuspecting obstetricians lose their fingers and decide to leave well enough alone.

Feb 1st -- Steve and Giulia in Perth. Alison gives birth to man-eating upright lizard. Tokyo takes out extra damage insurance. Bride's day (aka St Bridget, Queen of the Serpents). Feast of Imbolc -- sacrifice a cockerel at the point where 3 streams cross to avert the attention of evil spirits and Simo.

Feb 3rd -- Steve and Giulia in Hong Kong. Alison in bed recovering. Feast of St Werburga (famous for reanimating previously-eaten talking geese). Ceremony of Blessing of the Thoats in Helium.

Feb 8th -- Sue is guest of honour at HarmonIX filk convention in Weston SuperMare. Sales of earplugs in the West of England inexplicably buoyant.

Feb 10th -- Steve and Giulia back in England. Unexplained rain of underwear somewhere over Asia.

Feb 14th -- Lupercalia, ancient Roman festival of beer and bonking. Plokta cabal meet up at Attitude and distribute Plokta 6 -- Special Weddings and Babies Issue. Pod produces first fanzine and stomps on first city. Not many dead.

March 13th -- Steve's birthday. Mine's a pint.

March 28th-31st -- Festival of the Intervention of St Eastercon in Liverpool. Cabal turn up en masse and try to convince the committee that we're not going to do another spoof newsletter because they're too damn much work.

The Fickle Hand of Fate comes for SimoApril 1st -- Ancient Roman end-of-winter orgy of Hilaria. Traditional ceremony of Washing of the White Lions at the Tower of London. Try and think of cheap excuse to print this photo again:

Apr 8th -- 6000 year-old toad found alive inside a chunk of limestone in 1865. George dines on fresh toad tonight.

Apr 26th -- Ark comes to rest on Mt Ararat. Mike has secret assignation in Turkey.

Apr 30th -- Beltane, death of the Old Woman of Gloominess (Caillagh ny Groamagh or Cailleach Bheur). A good day for magic, bonfires and sacrificing people alive (Scotland only).

May 1st -- May Day. Fairies traditionally kidnap babies in order to leave changelings. Alison goes hunting for fairies, waving Pod and shouting "Over here! Over here!"

May 3rd -- Queen Guinevere magically exposed as "a bitch and a witch and whore bold" by Lady Briefbras (honest!) who is only guilty of kissing her husband before they were married and is apparently the sole person in King Arthur's court who is not sleeping around. Mike has secret assignation in Camelot.

May 21st -- Death of King Henry VIth in 1471, supposedly of "pure displeasure" but probably because someone bumped him off for being a really useless king and losing the whole of France to the French. Mike has secret assignation in Paris.

Jun 21st -- Certain members of Plokta cabal go hunting for virgins to sacrifice. Alison refuses to co-operate by donating Pod despite the child probably still being a virgin.

Jun 29th -- Alison's birthday. Don't tell anybody or she'll scream and scream until she's sick (oops, that's Pod).

Jul 18th -- Sue's birthday (pint of bitter, please).

Jul 19th-20th -- Sue and Mike run Convocation in Cambridge (more fool them).

Aug 1st -- Festival of Lughnasad, slayer of the sun and father of the Irish hero Cuchulainn. A good day for getting rid of changelings. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work with Pod.

Aug 26th -- Steven's birthday (pint of bitter, please). St Ninian builds first Scottish convention centre in AD397, locals prepare to hold first Scottish Worldcon.

Aug 28th -Sept 2nd -- LoneStarCon (55th Worldcon). Vote for Plokta in the Hugos as best fanzine. Mike has secret assignation in San Antonio.

Sep 4th -- Mike's birthday (pint of ethernet adaptors, please).

Oct 25th -- St Crispin's Day. Mike has secret assignation in Agincourt.

Oct 31st -- Ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. Plokta cabal turn into human beings for an hour at midnight. General incidence of heart failure rises inexplicably.

Nov 14th-16th -- Ancient West Midlands festival of Novacon. Vote Plokta for the Novas. Cabal desperately try to find a decent Chinese restaurant in Great Malvern.

Dec 25th -- Feast of St Mammon. Anniversary of birth of ancient sun-god Attis in Phrygia. Also Mithras. Mike has secret assignation in Bethlehem.

Dec 26th -- Giulia's birthday (pint of jewellery, please).

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