2013 is not a year I care to remember; abundant in grief and short on miraculous respite.
No other year that I can recall proved so ineffectual for any tangible or apparent reason. Things of an unpleasant nature just happened; misery piled on misery, and living became uncomfortably harsh. Daily problems turned irredeemably agonising and the environment took on a grim and unpredictable outlook.
In the midst of it all, you wake up raring to go. You negotiate some steep and hazardous steps to your office, a stone’s throw from your home, and bingo, you catch your breath and relax for a few minutes before embarking on a stressful day of fighting the elements, hoping a new dawn will bring you unexpected cheer – but alas, no hoodoo reversal is in sight.
Being a committed publisher in a trade where the standards of product, in general, have seen better days, you are in constant crisis. The trading figures are appalling; the books you thought will bring you fame and fortune scuttle away to some sort of wilderness from which they can no longer rear their un-achieving heads, and leave you powerless and dejected to survive another gloomy week.
The energy and enthusiasm you once had questions your ability to overcome the vicissitudes of time. And yet, through an iron-clad determination, you fake resolve to keep your spirits up. You return home at the end of the day to marshal your energies, hoping a turn of events will boost your weakened fuel output. You switch your television set on, you hear the news and listen to this blasted government of ours that tell you how well we are doing, and you virtually collapse at the lies that seem to be their trading modality. The more lies they tell, the more they believe they are telling the truth.
The PM is now in the habit of shooting his mouth much too often on any issue likely to keep him in the news and does not seem to mind being told off for this abuse of authority. Desperate to appear trendy, Dave has now recruited Apprentice star Karen Brady (awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List!) as his small business Czar and has offered her a succession of safe seats. When is he going to grow up and learn that such silly stunts demean politics and turn him into a lightweight leader of his party? I would not be surprised if he were to add the English equivalent of Miley Cyrus to his team to boost his lacklustre entourage.
Unless you happen to be mega-rich and money becomes a joyful pastime, then perhaps you will relish this circus where politicians do their acrobatic bits and you sit in your luxurious abode and somehow delight yourself at their expense. Perhaps that is the dream of the middle classes, who are now led to believe that they matter when they do not; in reality they are the nouveau pauvre of this era, simply relegated to being animals of burden.
Having whinged enough about the adversities of 2013, and being the sucker that I am, I can’t wait for 2014 to break the disastrous spell of the previous year. Only fools such as I have these preposterous dreams for truly I have come to believe that the world is a fool’s paradise.