Runny pudding and a megalomaniac Garth Brooks lead my 2022 predictions

Emer McLysaght dares to look at the year ahead

Listen, after the two years we’ve just had I’m loath to predict much for 2022 beyond the fact that the following year will be 2023. We’ve held strong, wintered things out, summered the best we could and completed at least half a million silly little walks each. We just want to get through 2022 relatively unscathed and with that in mind, here are my realistic predictions for the year ahead.

Nobody will be claiming that 2022 will be "my year". It's nobody's year, okay? Keep your hands inside the car and if you break it, you pay for it. Covid is the only melter who'll be posting a heavily filtered photo to Instagram with the caption, "New year, new me" and the hashtags #DeltaWho and #OmiGONE. Speaking of which, we could see competitions in 2022 to name a new variant resulting in a Boaty McBoatface-style farce. Poxy McPoxface does have a certain ring to it.

There is no morality attached to food and in 10 or 20 or 50 years you're not going to be glad you had six almonds instead of a Double Decker on a rainy January Tuesday in 2022

Working from home brings a welcome reprieve from the traditional sad January lunches. Nothing says “Happy New Year” more than the instant stripping away of all the decadence of Christmas and the instant reminder from advertising and media that you must now atone for all the creamy, buttery, salty delicious items you consumed over Christmas, and instead pack dreary and violent meals of lettuce wraps and dates masquerading as sugar.

If you’re working from home this January, have nice lunches. No calorie counting and “being good”. There is no morality attached to food and in 10 or 20 or 50 years you’re not going to be glad you had six almonds instead of a Double Decker on a rainy January Tuesday in 2022. And please, don’t fall victim to The Soup. Nothing makes me sadder than a small Tupperware container, stained orange by the ghost of a grim January soup.

We’ll all have to grudgingly learn what NFTs are this year. Yes, I know you’ve been lurking down the back hoping nobody asks you to define “bitcoin” or use “cryptocurrency” in a sentence, but we’ve moved beyond that now so just nod and smile and say, “Wow, owning one of those big money non-fungible tokens really is like owning a piece of original fine art”, and you might get away with it.

This will be the year that someone invests in hundreds of decent little rain outfits and starts an outdoor childcare collective. If the creche kids are outside all of the time come rain hail or shine then surely nobody can insist that they stay at home because they have a cough and a constantly viscous top lip? Parents driven demented by their child's low-level colds, harmless hacking and negative PCR tests keeping them out of childcare for days on end will be happy to sign up. What is it their own parents used to say? "It's only rain, you won't melt." Adults though will continue to be mercilessly judged and side-eyed if they so much as clear their throats in the fruit aisle in Aldi.

Ireland will run out of novelty Stetsons and an invigorated line dancing craze will cause a 47th wave of Poxy McPoxface. I had a feeling Brooks would someday ultimately be the downfall of us all

Rollerskating could join sea swimming and hiking as the outdoor exercise of 2022. It already enjoyed a resurgence in popularity last year thanks to hordes of people adding skates to the long list of bonkers internet pandemic purchases (I was one of those people and the skates are still gathering dust along with the Shakti mat, the inflatable hair-drying bonnet and the home laser hair removal kit). As if the hospitals didn’t already have enough to deal with, they need to prepare for the onslaught of people who’ve decided to lean into roller skating as an enjoyable form of exercise while also leaning into oncoming traffic/walls/pavements/dogs etc.

Runny pudding will lead food trends this year, after causing quite a stir online before Christmas. Although the soupy version of white pudding was likened by some to looking like a cat had done a whoopsie on a plate, it is only a matter of time before a swish restaurant adds it to the menu with some lemon foam and a sprig of dill. Meanwhile, the Dublin v Rest of the Country coddle debate will rage on.

In popular culture, Jamie Dornan could win an Oscar despite starring in the cracked fever dream that was Wild Mountain Thyme, arguably the most entertaining and terrible film of 2021. Dornan's role in the critically lauded Belfast has him tipped to be nominated for best supporting actor. From Christian Grey to little gold statue. Who knew?

Elsewhere in pop culture, the TV adaptation of Conversations with Friends will fill the pornographic hole left by Normal People two years ago during our first lockdown. Gird your loins, Joe Duffy! In September Garth Brooks will rip up a picture of Dublin City Council from the stage at Croke Park and announce he's doing one hundred nights in a row and nobody can stop him. Ireland will run out of novelty Stetsons and an invigorated line dancing craze will cause a 47th wave of Poxy McPoxface. I had a feeling Brooks would someday ultimately be the downfall of us all.

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