Every year I tell myself that I will refuse to suffer from the blues during this first month of the year, and for the first week I generally succeed. It all starts well enough with modest new year resolutions and the hope that the world will become a better place, but of course this is hopelessly misplaced optimism. Two weeks in, my resolutions are out of the window and the news is pretty dismal on both sides of the Atlantic.
Firstly Trump. His January is not going well and his actions so far are more worrying than usual. We are told, rather pompously, that America is important to we British and for our own well being we must not upset the President. Of course America is important to us – but their President is a disaster. Are we then not allowed to express our opinion? Are we not allowed to speak up when he insults us – and most of the rest of the world. Are we not allowed to say that his actions, particularly on global warming, are going to affect generations to come? It seems a pathetic line to take and I refuse to do so. I honour my many American friends and sympathise with them over their calamity of a President. But I will continue to object to his ridiculous actions and his manic tweeting. The only excuse is that he is a mental case and the sooner this is accepted and he is removed from being leader of the Western World the better it will be.
I cannot say much for the politics and leadership in the UK either. The Tory Party and Brexit faction limp from disaster to disaster. May has already made some terrible mistakes this year and we are only 14 days in. My hope is that common sense will suddenly prevail and that a hard Brexit – or worse still, no deal at all – will disappear from the agenda. As for their handling of the NHS crisis – it has been inept and infuriating. It is no good the PM bleating on about how much they had done already and giving endless financial statistics. It’s obviously not enough! We need to know what they will do immediately to save our great NHS from complete collapse. The fact is – the NHS should no longer be in the hands of a single party, but have a cross-party organisation to manage it. The sooner this happens the better. Another of our great establishments, the BBC, is failing badly as well. It’s behaviour over equal pay has been shocking and is fast becoming a scandal. I find this particularly depressing – but not really surprising. Isn’t the BBC run by men?
So are there any positives? Well yes, there are. I have been to two amazing parties – and apart from these being responsible for me failing on two of my resolutions, to eat and drink less – they were great fun and full of amusing people. My new ankle continues to be a miracle – so thank you again NHS. And my Christmas Amaryllis produced not one but two stems and burst into an amazing 8 trumpet flowers and continues to give me pleasure. There even looks to be a third stem on the way. I have read some good books and watched some great programmes. And the days are getting shorter and the sun will come out eventually. Only one more month of winter and we will be in Spring. So hope springs eternal.