It's that time of the year again.
But this year, in the midst of the deepest recession this country has seen for fifty years. the Posties and their bosses have decided to really screw things up even more.
Yes - Instead of Uncle Roger's wonderful plumptious envelopes landing heavily on our doormats, this year four hundred and fifty prospective TGO Challengers have been anxiously peering at computer screens to see wether or not they have been accepted for the Chally.
No longer the heavy thud of the fat envelope on the coir doormat or perhaps the thin skittery clatter of the thin missive dancing through the airy space of the hallway to land against the emulsion of the far wall. No; this year, it is just a soft 'pling' from the computer's speakers that lets you know that an email has landed in your 'inbox'.
For me an anxious day started at 11:24 this morning when JJ emailed to let me know that he had been emailed by Uncle Roger. And was safely 'in'.
At this point the internet almost melted. Wires, cables and keyboards took a hammering right across the world as 450 anxious applicants began their scanning of the world wide web. Emotional support groups sprang up as despairing applicants learned of their fate or even worse, had not yet heard their fate. It was life and death stuff.
By half past four in the afternoon, I knew exactly how Eeyore felt at about two or three o'clock in the morning in his boggy place with snow behind his ears. I had not heard from Uncle Roger and Lord Elpus was in the far north west of Scotland on holiday in the torrential rain, away from t'internet.
But Miss Whiplash is made of the right stuff. She whipped his sorry arse all the way to Fort William where he tried to log on to his webmail account in the Public Library on one of their terminals.
But he couldn't remember his password! AAAGGGHHH!
But Lord E is nothing if not a resourceful chap. He hooked up a link via Saturn or Venus or somewhere pretty remote to link up to his email and.... Hey Presto!
Five minutes later there was a soft 'pling' from my computer's speakers.
The Fat Envelope Had Landed.