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Happy New Year

May we all have a vision now and then of a world where every neighbour is a friend

I think New Year is like Marmite, no, not brown and salty, it's something you love or hate. When I was younger I loved it. Getting dressed up to go out, not knowing what dramas would unfold or working behind the bar keeping the drinks flowing. Oh how times change! These days I prefer to be under a blanket on the sofa and in my PJs by 9pm!

I think the older I get, the more I feel trepidation as we move towards midnight on the 31st December. You reflect on the year you have had, and wonder about the one that is coming and whether it will be better or worse. If it has been a good year, often you sit there all evening worrying about what will become of the next one, if it has been a year like this one you sit there waiting to see the back of it!

New Year can be a very superstitious time. My dad was never really superstitious. His mantra was always "you make your own luck in life". Mind you he did insist on taking a piece of coal out of the house and back in again on New Year for luck so he must have been at least a bit suprstitious.

I suppose you are wondering how I am feeling about this New Year's Eve. I have been dreading it in many ways. The most recent years it has just been the 4 of us around our house (Mom, Dad, Mark and myself), although of course Covid put pay to that the last 2 years! Last year we were anticipating Dad's surgery and what that would bring - would it be successful, would he be well enough on the day, would he improve or would it just prevent deterioration? This year we are contemplating the first full year without him and another load of "firsts".

Although I have been dreading it, and am certain that tears will be shed tonight, I am also keen to get it here and over and done with so we can close the door on 2022 which has absolutely been the worst year of my life. I do have to mention though the great big positive of the year that is grandchild number 6 - Jason. He has been a shining light in an otherwise dark year.

I also cannot mention this year without mentioning all of the kind and caring people we have been supported by this year. Family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and even people we hardly knew before. Without them, we would have been nothing, I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. The music-minded of you may have noticed the Abba lyrics in the title and subtitle which sum this up perfectly!

Tonight, when the clock strikes midnight, we will be raising a glass of Danish Akvavit (think schnapps) as has become a recent tradition and toasting my dad, "H" and the lasting legacy he has left us. Until we meet again dad, Skol!

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