Welcome to my Christmas message 2016. Around this time of year some people send what is called a round robin. Some may call it a news letter and to be honest they can be quite annoying especially if the person who is sending the news letter has had a better year than those who receive it.
I promise that in this blog there will be no mention of the new car I bought this year, though I did buy a second-hand car, a Toyota Prius Hybrid 1.8 with a built-in sat nav and reversing camera. Nor will I be talking about how successful I have been in improving my life beyond recognition, though I have lost 3 stone in weight since last year (19 kg to everyone else).
Nor will I be mentioning how successful and brilliant my kids are compared to yours though my daughter passed her driving test and my son is in full-time employment. I will not be mentioning anything like that as I know it can cause annoyance, bitterness and anger and all that you want to is rip up the news letter and stick it in the bin, though of course you cannot as this electronic and to do that you will have to print off, read and then throw it in the bin.
My Christmas message for this year is mainly about what a weird 2016, or maybe I should say what an unbelievable year 2016 was. I am still getting over the shock of the death of David Bowie. I was a life long fan of Bowie, it was Bowie’s music that really got me listening to music.
Before I encountered David Bowie I had no time for music. It was in 1972 at a school disco that I heard John I am Only Dancing and I literally could not believe my ears and at that disco my life changed. So when David Bowie died of cancer it was like losing an old friend. When I watched the video for Blackstar and I saw the space suit laying next to the rock with a skull my first thought was it the suit and skull of Major Tom and Bowie was showing us that Tom had died, I never really understood that it was Bowie telling us that he was dying.
That is my interpretation of that video after the event. I know that out there some people have all kinds of conspiracies that Bowie was trying to brainwash people with back masking and also that he was really talking about the Devil/demons etc… But I have heard all before many years ago when people said the same things about Transformers, He-Man and Pokemon. People will always have hobby horses, conspiracies theories and many similar idea.
For me the death of David Bowie was a great loss, of course not as great as losing a loved one but it did make me consider my own mortality. It is a shameful thing when business try to cash in on great tragedies bring out his greatest hits in different guises just to make more money as they do almost yearly with Elvis Presley.
2016 was a year that people of my generation lost many people both loved ones and people that they had grown up with such as Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Leonard Cohen, Andrew Sachs (Manuel), Victoria Wood and Terry Wogan. All well-known people in the UK.
[pullquote]2016 was a year that people of my generation lost many people both loved ones and people that they had grown up with…[/pullquote]
Since writing this there have been three notable losses to be added to 2016, Rick Parfitt the guitarist of Status Quo, Carry Fisher of Star Wars fame who died Christmas day and her mother Debbie Reynolds who starred in the musical singing in the rain.m Also George Michael who died on Christmas day, my two favourite tracks by him is Careless Whisper and Faith.
There were a number of shocks in 2016 some rocked my world others I am not that bothered about. One of biggest shocks of 2016 (besides the ones above) was the ‘Brexit’ decision, I still hate that phrase.
Shock number One
It would be a lie for me to pretend that I am not political in any way because I am and I know that at least 51% of the people reading this will not agree with me but I think it was a really bad decision to vote to leave the EU. I understand why people want border controls, which seemed to me to be the biggest argument for leaving the EU.
The thing that still annoys me was the lies of the leave campaigners for “Brexit’ about things like using the money that was given to Brussels will be given to the NHS, they said £350.000.000 could be given to the NHS a week. How long after the vote did they change their mind on that? on the 11/09/16 less than three months the Independent newspaper reported that “Leaders of the Vote Leave campaign appear to have backtracked on their claim that £350 million a week spent on EU membership would go towards the NHS.” Also now it looks like we will have to pay more to the EU outside the Market to export our goods than it did staying in the EU.
Why am I writing this? Because I was shocked and outraged by the lies that we were fed and that was gobbled up by millions of people in this country who believed that we were going to be better off with “Brexit’ and we would get a better funded NHS and also to be able to control our own borders and stop economical migrants from coming into the UK. the message is loud and clear now that none of that is going to happen!
Shock number two
Was when David Cameron stepped down as prime minister. I thought he would ride it out and stay until the last year of this government then stepped down. I mentioned at the beginning of this section that some decision I wasn’t that bothered about this is one of them. I think a bigger shock would have been if David Cameron had stepped down and called a general election, but that would never happen.
Shock number three
Is that Donald Trump has become the President-Elect of the USA, who would have guessed that at the beginning of 2016? His campaign appeared to me to be based on the similar arguments for ‘Brexit’ based on fear and prejudice. Again I know not everyone will agree with me but that is fine (that sounds like a Trumpism) but within days of being elected he has changed the wall between the USA with a fence, I am sure it is going to be a great fence, a beautiful fence but it isn’t the wall he promised.
He was going to put Hilary Clinton in prison, “lock her up!” he cried and his followers shouted “lock her up!”. After his election he turned around and said that it is “just not something I feel very strongly about.” Now he has a cabinet full of billionaires and millionaires who are going to be working for the common person, now that I want to see. That would be like having a Prime Minister and a Chancellor of the Exchequer who were millionaires! What? David Cameron and George Osbourne are worth how much? Yes but they have helped the poor, sick and homeless haven’t they?
Back to the future
2016 is about to come to an end! Thank goodness I say and I hope there won’t be another year like this but I guess there will. Whenever a new year comes around I very mixed feelings sadness for the losses, disappointments and missed opportunities of the past year.
Then I have hope for the coming year which is followed by a very rapid realisation that nothing will really change that much. as once a great philosopher said “same $#!+ different day” or as Dwight D. Eisenhower said “Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.”
What am I hoping for in 2017? I would like the world to be a little more tolerant, people in power to be much more honest with us. I want to see greater break through in fighting diseases and cancer than fighting amongst ourselves. I want my family and friends (yes both of them) to be healthier, happier and in a better place than they were in 2016 and finally I want my Toyota Prius 1.8 Hybrid to pass its MOT first time.
Merry Christmas all and have a fabulous 2017