President of the United States, Donald Trump. | OLIVER CONTRERAS / POOL - OC uki


So here we are welcoming in a new decade and let’s hope it’s a good one. Many have mixed feelings about the New Year and I suppose I do too.

On the one hand there’s something exciting about turning over a new page and seeing an as yet untarnished year stretching out ahead of us. On the other, there’s that weight of expectation about how to make the most of it and the preoccupation about what might transpire during the forthcoming twelve months.

As I get older, the years seem to gallop by so I try hard to cram in as much as possible, taking risks, having new experiences and not being afraid to try new things. So, in a way it is liberating and certainly focuses the mind. The idea of ageing being a time to don slippers and give up the game is a nonsense. In fact, I’d say it’s the perfect time to make the most of life and to go out of one’s way to try new activities and interests whether it be rock climbing, knitting, tennis or learning the oboe.

In the past few years I have learnt to ride a horse, climb tricky peaks, run in deep sand and to carry out basic eye tests in pop up clinics overseas. These may not be life-altering skills but they certainly offer a sense of achievement.

Therefore whatever your personal projects or goals are in 2020, I hope the start of the roaring twenties proves to be full of fun, happiness and hope. Let’s make it a special and memorable year!

Big is beautiful?

Sue Radford, 44, is the mother of the largest family in Britain with 21 children, and now has cooed to the media and her multiple followers that she’s expecting baby number 22. And why? What could possibly be the motivation to breed so copiously in an already over-populated world? Call me cynical, but could the motive, alas, simply be money? It transpires that the Radfords have a super successful YouTube channel that mints them money with its 100,000 followers.

There are also sponsorship deals, appearances and PR projects. I’m not sure how the children feel about their extended and growing family but one day they may wonder if their parents used them for their own ends or on a positive note, to keep them all in economic comfort.

Taking the Flack

Luckily I missed most of the well-publicised drama surrounding Love Island presenter Caroline Flack and her boyfriend whom she was accused of hitting with a lamp during a row. More interesting was what happened next. First the presenter was forced to resign from her lucrative job as police had been called to her residence during the turmoil and the situation escalated wildly. The court ruled a ban on her seeing her boyfriend over Christmas so Caroline waved away her woes by taking a flight to Los Angeles for a little rest and relaxation. She didn’t forget the needs of her French bulldog either, sending him to a celebrity dog hotel that costs £80 per night.

What a fantastically pampered, spoilt and unrealistic world these people live in. When any of us have a crisis or a bad time, we have to sit it out and sort it out but for those in luvvy lala-land, you just hop on a plane to a sexy destination, take on a personal trainer, beautician, therapist and voila, your problems all fade away!

Bake-Off bugs

Prue Leith, presenter of cooking show, Bake Off, is urging us all to eat bugs instead of meat to save the planet. I have tried bugs over the years, mostly in the jungle and they are not all they are cracked up to be. I don’t like grubs which I find chewy and locusts and crickets are crunchy, gristly and tasteless. She’ll need to do a lot of convincing to get me to take up this new protein source. Quite frankly, I’d rather turn vegan.

Trigger-happy Trump

The mounting row between the United States and Iran is concerning and with the assassination of a top Iranian general by the US government, who knows what will happen next? Iran and Iraq have vowed revenge and ordered Americans to leave their countries. In their shoes, I’d get out fast.

It would be wonderful to think we could kick off 2020 in peace and harmony but with Donald Trump at the helm, and jumpy Iranians on the march, it’s looking increasingly unlikely.

Hopefully the UK and Europe as a whole will do their utmost to diffuse the situation and encourage Donald Trump not to make things worse. I suppose all can do is hope for the best and maintain peace and harmony in our own micro communities.