Here we are on the cusp of ‘getting rid’ of 2020, as if there is something about the old year that can be banished by the introduction of a new one. The date is arbitrary anyway decided long ago by past civilisations who wanted to split the passing of time into years, based on various calendars created by Caesar and the Romans who found that it had drifted by 10 days at one stage. Anyway if you want to look it up, search Wikipedia. The point is the term New Year is a movable feast around the world because of the time zones and the way peoples of the world perceive it. It’s as good a celebration as any I suppose to mark the end of one era and the start of another.
Having said all that, 2021 will probably be just as disruptive and contagious as 2020, but at least we’ve got (now) two vaccines to administer, one that has to be kept at -70°C until the point of use and the other is kept at a more useful temperature. Both are purported to be up to 90% effective given two doses which is better than the flu jab which is only about 55% effective. It remains to be seen whether we will all need a booster inoculation every year like the flu jab. Hopefully I’ll get mine sometime this year, but it’s not going to make me footloose and fancy free until the whole country is done. Not much chance that we will all be back to normal any time soon though, because of the covidiots who say there is no virus and don’t believe in all the precautions, are the ones that have spreading it most, while the rest of us good citizens have stayed in and done as we are told. Basically 90% of the population have been doing that, and the others are doing what the hell they like and spreading it around.
So, I’ve done my 2020 year and what happened, how about predictions for the coming year and what the effect will be? I think there will be a mass inoculation programme which will get everyone vaccinated (or at least those who want it) by the end of the year, but there will probably be more strains of the Coronavirus that will manifest themselves over the year. We are assured that science is on this and with minor tweaking, any inoculation will cover the different strains. We’ll see, in the meantime the economy will recover, despite the best efforts of the EU to drag us down to their level and bleed us dry. I reckon that other countries in the EU will start to consider their position. Angela Merkel has entered her last year in office and it depends on September 2021s election whether she stays in power, I think she will hold on, but there will be factions within the Bundestag who will want to see her gone, despite her increase in popularity during the pandemic. If she falls, some of the EU will also fall, although the two strongest countries in it, France and Germany don’t seem to be in any hurry that they should leave as well. Belgium is the country to watch, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers is in Brussels and Strasbourg so the country has a big sway in the way the EU is run, and of course they were one of the first countries to start the EU after the war, so they are obviously keen to keep it going. Belgium exports 300 billion Euros fo products, mainly to Germany and France so they have a vested interest in securing the EU’s economy. With the UK leaving the EU in a few days time, it’s too early to see what impact it will have on the UK, I don’t take any notice of the scare tactics used by the red tops and even the ‘broadsheets’ (yes I know they’re not ‘broad’ any more, but their views remain), any more, I’m sure they would like to run the country and if course they could do it better, not.
Hopefully sport will come back into the picture. I miss being able to go and see my local rugby club Farnham play in the London SW Div 2. They won the tier 5 Challenge cup at Twickenham 4 years ago. It was where Jonny Wilkinson started his career and it is a fantastic club. Watching the premier clubs on Channel 5 doesn’t quite cut it for me, although watching the Autumn Nations Cup was great. Cricket will also hopefully be back at the Ageas Rose Bowl in Southampton in the summer, I was there in 2019 for the Cricket World Cup and had a great time. I’ve been very lucky, I did the 2012 Olympics as a volunteer, the Rugby World Cup in 2015 as a volunteer as well as the cricket. I’ll be looking for the next world event to take place in the UK and hopefully get a place in that as well. I was once an active participant in sport but now due to increasing age and aches I find that it’s not so easy. Still, I’ll have a go at O2 Touch Rugby again when we’re able. I’m not (as my reader will know) a fan of football although I was in my youth, when players wore proper leather boots and had centre partings and were paid 3/6d a week. Football nowadays is all about the money and wasn’t the game found wanting when the chips were down this year? You notice not many players offered to drop their salaries even though the clubs weren’t getting any gate receipts and were playing in empty stadia? Yes I know the rugby professionals were playing in front of empty crowds as well, but they are paid a fraction of what your average pro football gets. Golf was back and will continue, the Australian Tennis Grand Slam has been pushed back and I suspect that a lot of other sports will delay their starting dates as well.
One of the things I miss is going to the cinema. We has a lovely little ‘flea pit’ cinema near us which was a) reasonably cheap) and b) comfortable. I’m hoping that will open soon and I can go and see the latest Bond movie which I always do at the cinema first. Pubs!! I have only been in a pub once this year during the period between lockdowns in our local and had a meal there. Haven’t got round to again since but we will. Our local town Bordon was an army garrison and they have now gone elsewhere so there is major redevelopment going on, with 3300 houses being built, along with a new town centre and new sports facilities and eventually a new hospital. It will take time but in a few years I reckon it will be a great little town, and all the naysayers and critics will have to eat their words. The authorities in charge of the new build have done a good job this year considering the pandemic and a lot of the project were finished in this year including a secondary school, a leisure centre, and future skills centre, an ‘inclosure’ which is a wooded area close to the town with an education centre and a cafe. A bypass was finished in 2019 so altogether the town is getting its act together and will thrive this year.
On a personal level, as I mentioned before, I pass a milestone age in March, and as the old saying goes you’re as young as you feel. Some days I feel like I’m 35 again and others like I’m 105, so it all depends on outlook. I don’t tend to think of death these days, my parents both died in their mid 60s, my brother before he was 60 so I’ve overtaken all them and besides some minor conditions I’m not in bad nick (although the pandemic has made me put on weight). So 2021 is a year when I’m definitely going to lose weight. My wife has just ordered a spin bike which we can set up and use every day whatever the weather. I have missed going out on my bike which I’ve only managed half a dozen times, but I can supplement the spin bike for lost outside bike rides. I DO need to lose weight, when I was 15 I was only two stone lighter than I was a year ago, so I reckon I need to lose 1½ stone, but that may only be a dream. How to do it? Well all the best diet books say cut out carbs, eat less, don’t drink alcohol etc etc. What I want to know is how can those people in the TV programmes (I know) say they’ve stopped eating McDonalds and drinking copious amounts of Coke and lose 6 stone? I have never eaten junk food (takeaways yes but only occasionally), eat wholesome food cooked mainly from scratch, and try not to drink wine every day, and nothing happens. The biggest thing that changes my weight is exercise. It’s very noticable, that when I eat normally and then do exercise (go for a walk, do some weights) my weight drops off dramatically. So, and this is not a New Years resolution, never could keep them anyway, I WILL lose weight this year, promise.
On that note I bid you farewell and see you in 2021.
HAPPY NEW YEAR