Good Riddance 2016

2016_edited-2I know I’m not alone when I say good riddance to 2016. It was the kind of year that will go down in the history books as a year that changed the world.

2016 kicked off with the shocking loss of our Star Man, David Bowie…

The year gathered steam with an unprecedented number of celebrity deaths including Sir Terry Wogan, Alan Rickman, Muhammed Ali, Prince, Ronnie Corbett, Victoria Wood, Andrew Sachs, Caroline Aherne and Leonard Cohen to name just a few, while the line up of musicians who left us in 2016 rivals the list of performers who signed up for Band Aid. Christmas brought a fresh wave of public grief: it was George Michael’s Last Christmas and Debbie Reynolds died of a stroke the day after losing her daughter Carrie Fisher to a heart attack.

ISIS continued to dominate the news with terror attacks on European cities and in the Middle East claiming hundreds of innocent lives. And talking of the innocent, more than two million refugees fled war-torn Syria – often to be confronted by hostility, suspicion and closed borders – and thousands more drowned in their attempt to reach a safe haven. As Calais’s Jungle was dismantled, a xenophobic public demanded proof that ‘child refugees’ were actually children.

In June Britain cheered for the underdog as Leicester City won the Premier League at amazing 5,000/1 odds.

But when the British people voted to leave the EU the same month, I knew anything could happen in 2016…

…and sure enough the American electorate voted in a narcissistic sociopath as the 45th President of the United States just a few months later.

Politically 2017 may look just as bleak as The Trump takes the reigns and Britain begins its complicated negotiations to leave Europe. We can but pray for global peace, as living in terror becomes a way of life. But we can only strike forward into the New Year with hope in our hearts and a resolve to embrace the changes ahead – after all “tomorrow is another day”…

In response to the Daily Post Hopeful

Is This Really It?

Last summer I met a lady who had recently taken the plunge and given up her secure university post to not only start her own business, but to do this in a new country too. Like me this woman was in her fifties, and like me she was appalled at the idea that she could end her working life facing the same dreary commute, the same staff room politics, the same work-life struggles that she had endured for decades.

I started out with such high aspirations – no rat race for me, my life was going to be different.  This notion doesn’t make me special: for us baby boomers this was going to be our time, coming of age in a post flower-power world, the sixties behind us and glam rock and punk beckoning.

I vividly remember the pride I felt to be part of a generation that created Live Aid, which as it happens was on my son’s first birthday and I can still see him wearing nothing but a nappy as he rocked out to Queen and David Bowie in front of our tiny black and white TV. It seems fitting therefore that this blog launches in a month that saw Bowie (that master of reinvention who provided the soundtrack to so many of our lives) take his final curtain call.

Yet somehow here I am hurtling towards my own golden years with the realisation that resist as I might, the rat race got me – life has this habit of getting in the way for the best of us – but with the absolute conviction that it is not too late!  Like my new friend, I can embrace change, chuck in the soul-destroying monotony and take control of my future. This blog is one small step on that journey…

[Pip]