It’s come to that time of the year again when The Dealer reassesses the 12 months that have just passed and thinks on the dozen to come – if your surly scribe should manage to stay upright for the duration that is.

A few new year resolutions will certainly have to be conjured out of thin air, I suppose.

And, as is always the case, the old reliables invariably come up for consideration.

On that note, I am determined to stand back this year from hand-gliding, sky diving and cycling home from the pub.

Other highly dangerous and equally futile endeavours could also be for the high jump.

These include my failed attempts at breeding double-muscled Dexters, trying to put beef on small narrow-arsed Jerseys and hand milking the five goats which the daughter acquired as pets.

In fact, The Dealer might try and retrain the goats for the circus. They certainly have a proven ability to climb.

How three of them ended up on the roof of the machinery shed is a mystery. And, unfortunately, it was one of the sorrowful variety for the unlucky member of the daredevil trio that plunged through the perspex sheet.

That particular animal might have had a good head for heights but neglecting to wear a helmet invariably proves fatal when you headbutt a harrow after falling 30 feet.

On a positive note, the neighbour has been very impressed with the goats’ milk.

My crew refused point blank to drink it, but the neighbour has a stomach like an old Burco boiler. He is adamant the milk has sorted out a raft of ailments over the past year – everything from sore throats to bunions and piles.

He’s even made cheese from the milk. He reckons it stinks to high heaven and tastes terrible, but it has the dubious benefit of doubling as a rat repellent.

The neighbour is convinced that there isn’t a furry friend left within bawling distance of the place since the goats’ cheese started curdling.

My new year resolutions will also extend to the wife’s workshop.

I must try and persuade mo stór to park the cut spanners and abandon her efforts at recommissioning the old Lada engine and fitting it to the lawnmower.

Her decision to fit an old Zetor 6718 engine to the washing machine and drier last Christmas proved disastrous for the back wall of the utility.

Now, there’s certainly great light in the room since the Whirlpool relocated to the back haggart during an over-zealous spin cycle; but whether the remaining stretch of wall can hold the roof is the question – a heavy fall of snow this winter could prove terminal.

Anyway, these are the little foibles that make family life interesting.

And so, all that’s left to say is this: that you may keep the wrenches out of the partners’ paws, the goats off the round roof, and have a happy and prosperous 2024.