The world in 2020: Your month-by-month guide to what will happen in the New Year (well, maybe…)

After the unpredictability of 2018 and 2019, The Country Life team put their heads together to think about what lies ahead.

And as far-fetched as all this sounds now, we’d not be surprised if things turned out even more strangely than what follows…


Garden centres have never had it so good, as politicians rush to fulfil ludicrous manifesto promises about tree planting. Unfortunately, a freezing January means that only the regrettably tiny handful of farming MPs are beefy enough to get their shovels into the ground.


Actors who have the temerity to be talented as well as privately educated are banned from the month’s glittering awards ceremonies, but a breakout category, #FloreatEton, honours Olivia Colman (Greshams) and Tobias Menzies (Frensham Heights) for The Crown.

Olivia Colman, pictured in the future, with one of the 73 awards she'll win in 2020. Or it might have been from the 2019 Baftas. Who can tell? (Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Olivia Colman, pictured in the future, with one of the 73 awards she’ll win in 2020. Or it might have been from the 2019 Baftas. Who can tell? (Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage)


An unforeseen Brexit glitch prevents Irish horses travelling to the Cheltenham Festival; Cheltenham being unthinkable without the Irish, the mountain travels to Mohammed and English racegoers enjoy themselves so much there’s a rush on long-lost Irish relatives and new passports. They might as well stay there anyway — they’ve not only lost their shirts, but their entire luggage on Ryanair.

Recommended videos for you


Heavy showers swell the Thames to the extent that Waterloo station turns into a quay, but commuters are agreeably surprised when river transport turns out to be faster and more reliable than South Western Railway.


Sir David Attenborough, the oldest ever astronaut, launches his next series: Don’t Panic: There’s Life on Mars.

Sir David Attenborough pictured during filming at Stokksnes beach in Iceland for Seven Worlds, One Planet.

Sir David Attenborough. Credit: BBC NHU/Alex Board


Devotees mark the Summer Solstice with the first ever vegan hog roast.


Biblical flooding plays havoc with holiday plans, but, in Surrey, wild swimmers are thrilled by the natural lake that’s formed in the Devil’s Punchbowl. At Wimbledon, floating white lines are erected and ball boys and girls issued with flippers; summer-sales bargain hunters kayak down Oxford Street to beat the rush.


The Proms programme is re-worked to include Handel’s Water Music, Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and Rubinstein’s Ocean Symphony. The Last Night includes a rousing chorus of ‘He gave them hailstones for rain’ and For Those in Peril on the Sea replaces the traditional Land of Hope and Glory.


MPs return to the House of Commons by coracle; Prime Minister Johnson is excused from explaining his Brexit deal in detail, but not until floodwater in the chamber rises to neck height.


It never rains but it pours: a Harvest Festival service in rural Kent is halted due to a giant, waterlogged pumpkin blocking the church door. The Booker Prize is divided six ways after new research warns that competition causes hurt feelings and unacceptable stress.


The US Presidential election is declared null and void after evidence emerges of alien interference.

Donald Trump (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wiki Commons


Greta Thunberg arrives in Oslo on a sleigh pulled by methane-free reindeer to receive the Nobel Peace Prize on account of being the only person able to get there without leaving a carbon footprint.

Happy New Year!