Farewell 2016, Hello 2017.

Happy New Year everyone. Apologies for my recent absence. I work a lot over the Christmas period and any time I've had spare has been spent with my family. Apology complete! On with the blog.

I have mixed feelings about New Year. I've had good ones and bad ones just like everybody else. But the real reason I'm a little uncertain over the New Year is change.

For many, 2016 has been a poor year. A glut of high profile celebrity deaths along with two specific political moments in the world which may or may not have upset you. Whether you're happy that the UK is to leave the EU or not, and whether you think Donald Trump will be a great change for the USA or not is irrelevant. The manner in which those political decisions were sold to the public was particularly poor. The celebrity deaths hit hard also as many were quite young when they died and also many had impacted on our lives. Anton Yelchin upset me a lot as he was younger than me and he was in the Star Trek reboot which I really enjoy.

However, for me personally, 2016 was, in general, a good year. Highlights have included Martha's first day at school, our wonderful holiday to Europe for a friend's wedding in the summer, work has been good for both Catherine and myself and we've been able to spend a lot more time together as a result, an amazing camping trip to North Wales, Ben met Iggle Piggle, Martha met Princess Tiana and Cath and I got to have more time with friends and family than ever before. So, in hindsight, 2016 has been great.

So why on earth would I want to say goodbye to that? And I have to say goodbye to it. Not just because of its inevitable transition to 2017, but because I frequently personify things and objects in my life. So for me saying goodbye to 2016 means coping with its eternal disappearance and the realisation that I will never see it again. Farewell old friend. And yes, I can see how ridiculous that is, but believe me, I can't help it.

I'm an optimist. The older I get the darker the rose tinted spectacles seem to become but on the whole I'm an optimist. I believe the world is becoming a better place to live. I shudder a little as I write that sentence because, you know, the world doesn't seem to be becoming a better place according to the news but I think fundamentally, people are becoming more aware of others around them. So I greeted 2017 with a casual positivity. It's going to be great. Seven days in and I can't complain. But I can't help feeling that I'm getting to know someone again. January and February are such transitional months for me. I grieve over the loss of my friend 2016 and I don't feel that I quite know 2017 well enough yet to meet it for coffee. After a week, I feel a text coming on asking how it is but that's all I've got. It makes the start of a year so uncertain and fragile that the second I feel that me and 2017 can get on, it's April.

You can see now why I have such mixed feelings over the changing of the years. This year is going to be different though. I've learned a lot from 2016. A year can be everything. A year is everything. It's full of terrible events and massive global losses that shake the core of who we are as individuals BUT, it's full of amazing moments and people that inspire us to improve and move the world forward. There is no way that 2017 can be anything else but that. It'll be awful. It'll be wonderful. It'll be a year in the life of our planet. My home. Our home. Happy New Year people.