Each year we say this is the last”, this effort can’t go on,
Don’t have the time, no news to tell, the Christmas spirit’s gone.
But then we think of you odd bunch, the friends we’ve made through time,
If this is how we keep in touch it’s worth another rhyme.

It’s been a busy year for Mike, the business runs along,
The hours just get longer, and still working for a song.
Lost his old mate Banjo back in June, sad time for all,
She’d been around for fifteen years, in dog terms a good call.
They say you can’t replace them, after Banjo we should know,
But we’ve taken on two trainees (for more details see below).
His business skills have not improved, the music reigns supreme,
It must be country music, lives on oily rags and dreams.
Has got a filing system that would stump the CIA,
Just close your eyes and count to ten, the hard bits go away.

Lee’s now got a dog, would you believe its name is Pru,
Well, Prudence on her pedigree, just so you know it’s true.
An English Setter, two years old, was rescued from the pound,
A penchant for the plastics, boy she’s fun to have around.
We’ve also got a little mutt named Tam, and she’s a ripper,
Looks like someone crossed a magpie with a fluffy slipper.
Lee’s foster home for wayward dogs? Call it what you may,
Take Mike for example, she’s always had a things for strays.
It’s been Lee’s year for maintenance, just get things up to scratch,
The house, the yard, the orchard, yes she’s proud of her own patch.

Ben has finished school at last, year 12 is all behind,
Still pondering what he’ll do from here, but we don’t really mind.
He’s done a great job up till now, he’ll do what he thinks best,
In the meantime get his Learners, pass his driving test.
Mike wants him for a chauffeur, but Lee has some short-term plans,
Teach him life skills (ironing, cooking), useful things with his own hands.
Should have seen him at the formal, all spruced up and in a tux,
We know we’re a bit biased, but he looked a million bucks.
It seems like only yesterday, all arms and legs and stuff,
You look away an instant, and you’ve missed them growing up.

At last it’s time for Alex, thought we’d leave her bit to last,
Year 2 at Uni’s come and gone, and no surprise, she passed.
Actually passed with some distinction (if our boasting is allowed),
She’ll kill us when she reads this, but us folks are justly proud.
Helps Mike out from time to time, the proofreader from hell,
A closet bluegrass fan (but that’s a secret we can’t tell).
She’s really on the healthy trip, the good food and the like,
Tim has got a kayak, Alex bought a mountain bike.
Life is a great journey for them both and that’s a treat,
Together it’s the perfect combination you can’t beat.

Time to go the walrus said, whoever he might be,
Happy Christmas and New Year and all you want to be.

Mike, Lee, Alex & Ben