I don't know about but I am getting fed up reading all the doom and gloom that is out there at the moment. I am a generally pretty positive 'half glass full' kinda guy so I wanted to try and look on the bright side of life today and find reasons to be cheerful for 2009.
But trust me - it ain't easy.
Every day our newspapers and televisions give us more and more gloomy economic news about the demise of everything from big banks and those crucial high street chain stores to small independent businesses.
What probably makes things worse is that we have all just finished a festive period where we still probably spent too much money and where we encountered friends and family from all over the country who had similar tales of woe about the economy in their patches.
I don’t know many people who feel 100 per cent secure in their employment at the moment and it has come to the point where the only person in Britain with a guaranteed job for life is the Queen. (Pictured here visiting Bath a few years back)
So, amid all this doom and gloom, what can we actually look forward to in 2009?
Here are just 'three reasons to be cheerful' (thanks for the phrase Mr Ian Drury!) but I truly hope you have plenty more of your own...
- Barack Obama. In some ways it seems ages ago when he won the right to be the next President but in less than two weeks that is exactly what he will become. So cast your minds back to the general sense of elation and optimism his election created and it may help to get you through the next few weeks. True, he may have the ‘inbox from hell’ when he takes over, but he has the goodwill of a large chunk of the world’s population and that has to count for something. And one other reason to be cheerful about Obama? It will mean no more of George Walker Bush.
- The weather. This may seem bizarre as we are all currently freezing our wot-nots off, but advanced forecasts have indicated we could be having a serious heatwave in the summer. This is good news on two counts. First, we haven’t had a good summer for a number of years but second, the rocketing price of European holidays due to the falling pound means that more people will be holidaying in the UK this year and it is nice to know they might be able to take sun cream rather than Kagools to the beach. If more people are staying in the UK, that can only mean good news for a tourist spot like Bath, which should benefit economically as a result.
- Sport. There is no denying a bit of sporting success can raise the most fallen of spirits. Although we don’t have the Olympics this year, we do have an entirely winnable Ashes series (despite the shenanigans this week) and there is a lot of evidence to say that even though he is about as miserable as the economy, Andy Murray might finally break our Wimbledon duck. Oh, and under Mr Capello, expect even greater things from England’s football side, too...
OK, I accept that having a new American President, better weather and the chance of seeing a dour Scot as a tennis champion might hardly balance the bleak world scenario, but at least I’m trying.
2009 can only be the year from hell if we let it!