WELCOME to the second part of our Seasonal flashback, which, you may be relieved to know, will also be the final TRM of 2019.

I think you'll agree, the older you get, time flies by even faster, and the more choc-a-bloc your memory bank gets, the more jumbled your recollections become. But, if you're like me, there are some that will always stick with you.

My New Year’s Eve memories include things like...in the 1950s, my Uncle Skip, with his mother-in-law, Mrs Harries...arriving at our house during the middle of a snowstorm, complete with thunder and lightning, to let in the New Year.

I can still see them now, Frosty the snowman, and his blanched, crestfallen assistant, standing on our front doorstep, at two in the morning, pie-eyed and red-nosed!

My mother had always insisted that the ‘letting in the New Year ritual’ should not be performed by my dad...because, at 5'6"...he was too short...which might have a negative effect on the year's equilibrium! I think my dad was a bit miffed, as he was missing out on a half crown and lump of coal!

So, from as far back as I can remember, my six-foot uncle Skip did it.

I know one year, while waiting for him to arrive, we had a family ‘disagreement,’ about when exactly twelfth night fell. My mum was adamant that we had to keep the decorations up until then, ignoring the insipid, pineless tree, sagging in the corner, that, by then, looked so sorry for itself.

I insisted that 12th night was January 5, which would make New Year's Eve, night number seven…so yelled…"bring on those swans a swimming".

But my dad contended it was January 6. My mum reckoned that was only because he fancied carrying a bucket for those "eight maids a' milking".

My dad always loved New Year’s Eve, none more so than in the latter part of his life, when he was the resident organist in Maureen Dyter's Sir Benfro, in Herbrandston.

He would always ‘dress up’ for the occasion...the place was always packed and he'd fling himself into any, and every party that was taking place there.

(As this picture of him shows!)

Over the years Carole and I shared some fabulous New Year’s Eves with our friends…like the Potters, the Horns, the McClellands, the Clarke's and the ‘Angries from Steynton’.

One year, very early Eighties, we had a smashing time hugging and kissing strangers at the Esso Club's New Year's party (see snap).

Now...I think I've deciphered my Godmother's notes properly...it wasn't easy, with the scrawly handwriting, faded pencil, and fruity language...but here goes.

I did once meet Mrs Morris's vicar…as I recall, he had more teeth in his mouth than you could count…and they were so white, those in his front pews must've been blinded!

Anyway, here are the words of the godmother.

"Help, someone, please! The vicar's gone missing, and if he ain't back by Sunday, that two-faced cow with the horrible hat will be giving the sermon.

“God help us all if that happens!

“I can't go to the police, and here's why.

“I told you last week, it was my neighbour Gemma's yuletide fancy dress party, and we went dressed as ‘vicars and tarts’. I found one of my Norris's old suits in the back of the wardrobe…it reeked of mothballs...but fitted like a glove. I borrowed one of the vicar's spare dog collars...and after I washed off the gravy stains, I looked absolutely divine.

“I can't say the same about the vicar. I don't know where his kit came from, but it was decidedly risque. A scarlet silk blouse…cut low to show off a peek-a-boo, black laced, cotton stuffed bra…a jet black skirt…slashed to the thighs, which barely covered his fish net stockings and suspenders.

“He'd even shaved his legs...and, on six-inch stilletos, how he managed to do such a fabulous American smooth with Mrs Edwards from No. 47 ...I'll never know!

“Gemma was her usual bubbly self, and the party was going really well…the house packed with young folk out to enjoy themselves…some as young as their mid-50s.

“Gemma's fave, Tom Jones, was belting out Delilah, and although I'm not a drinker…just the occasional sweet sherry…I joined in the fun and games.

“After a couple of hours, starting to feel a bit tired, I followed Gemma into the kitchen, where the vicar-tart was quoting his favourite bits from ‘Life of Brian’ to a sozzled werewolf and dwarfless Snow White.

"I'll make you lovely cup of herbal tea, Mrs Morris, " said Gemma, adjusting her centurian helmet..." I guarantee it'll make you feel on top of the world."

“Now, I've always been partial to a drop of mint and nettle tea, and thought it would finish the night off nicely.

“Gemma cut open a small plastic bag and poured the leafy contents into a cup of iced water. The vicar climbed onto the kitchen table…in those shoes!!!...and was into the second verse of Always look on the bright side of life… when all heck broke loose. Doors were kicked open and five policemen dashed in, screaming and shouting…"Nobody move…we've got a warrant…this is a raid!" I did what I had to do. I fainted!

“When I came to, it was quieter, most of the police had gone…and taken my herbal tea with them...as evidence…and sometime in the New Year…I may or may not be charged with being in possession of a cup-full of cannabis!

“The vicar, who wasn't recognised by the drug squad…despite one of them being the son of that two-faced cow with the horrible hat…had escaped through the bathroom window…leaving one of his six-inch stilettos stuck in the toilet. Gemma's remark that it was a bit like Cinderella and they could do a house-to-house looking for the owner of it didn't go down too well, either!

“I've got to find the vicar to tell him that he's in the clear and that nobody from the party is going to ‘grass him up!’.”

As we near the end of 2019, I'd just like to thank all TRM readers for their kind remarks and regular contributions to the column...it means a lot to me.

I wish you all a Happy, healthy and successful 2020.