So the old year has fled and the new year is entered as the song goes. It has been a turbulent year. Some events I found hard to believe and at the risk of sounding like Victor Meldrew I found myself amazed. Yet I still find myself believing that somehow through all the disasters and mistakes of the last 12 months things will sort themselves out.
I couldn’t believe that we voted to leave the EU and though I am resolved that when the majority of people vote we should follow their decision I still worry about what will happen in this country. Perhaps if we succeed in those things that we excel at and improve in those things we are worse at, it will not be too bad. I seems that I am not alone in believing this.
I couldn’t believe that the Americans voted for Donald Trump. This frightens me more than our own situation. However as there is nothing to be done about it it is a waste of time bemoaning the decision. There are enough people predicting doom and disaster. I prefer to concentrate on the positive things in our lives.
Finishing off the negative events
Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen are so awful they are beyond words. I dare not dwell on the things that happen in these countries lest I despair.
This year we lost some of my favourite public figures Alan Rickman was my favourite along with Victoria Wood but I also liked Andrew Sachs, Jimmy Perry, Gene Wilder and Caroline Aherne, not to mention Ronnie Corbett and Terry Wogan. I all seems very sad. The list is available here. I always thought Alan Rickman was a very attractive man and Victoria Wood made me cry with laughing.
Finally there were the natural events earthquakes and floods. These also wrung our hearts.
The positive things
These have to be excavated from the general negativity of news. British athletes did incredibly well in Brazil as did the Para-Olympians.
Closer to home we live in a country where we can say what we want as long as we don’t incite hatred and violence. We can do what we want unless we break the law . We can believe what we want and worship freely. Political debate is open and fair.
We have one of the best broadcasters in the world the BBC is renowned throughout the world.
We have a free education, free healthcare and a benefits system however overstretched these facilities are. Many countries do not possess these things.
The police and armed services work very hard to protect us from terrorists.
We have more top universities that most other countries, we have excellent schools. We have extraordinary museums, art galleries and libraries.
We have some of the most beautiful countryside in the world.
We are never too far from the sea. We cherish our wildlife and our access to the countryside as few other nations do.
We have a rich and diverse history that we celebrate and we produce some of the best scientists, engineers, actors, musicians, writers, and poets in the world.
Above all, despite the constant negativity of much of the media, I have found most people to be kind and courteous, welcoming and friendly.
I think on reflection that we have much to be proud and thankful for and that for us our lives have fallen in a good land.
I am facing this year with optimism in the belief that we will survive and prosper.
Happy new year