Futile, maybe, but I rather hoped we might start the new year without a peep out of Meghan and Harry but that’s evidently not to be. They continue to wring their hands from their palatial mansion over the pond, beseeching those of us in the poor seats to offer them sympathy and blessings at every turn.

Harry’s new ghost-written autobiography, Spare, is about to hit the shelves but frankly, is there anything left for him to say? Haven’t we heard the mantra often enough? Hot on its heels is apparently Meghan’s own rhyming autobiography entitled Hot Air (Heir?), which will no doubt offer an account of her terrible woes and injustices at the hands of the ever-so-beastly British royal family.

Actually, before you search it out on amazon, I confess to fabricating the title but what might it be? Me, Myself, I, Meghan the Martyr, Money & Me, Thrown to the Wolves, Spare 2 (the sequel), Harry, the prince, his wife and her mother, Meghan & Monsters, Inc,….the list in endless.

Various media surveys prior to Christmas showed that even the Americans were tiring of the endless unleashing of emotions from the hapless duo so they may well have already cooked their respective geese. Both have made a fortune from their kiss and tell media interviews and selling their souls and the royal family in the Netflix documentary, but Spare should make them further millions if pre-sales are anything to go by. I for one will not be buying the book nor watching the Netflix documentary. I feel a personal responsibility not to fuel the fire further.

Masking the problem

Rumour has it that people in the UK will be back to mask wearing soon and even likely to be told to work from home and adhere to social distancing. This is due to the crisis hitting the NHS which has seen a massive surge in Covid and flu cases this winter. Staff shortages, nurse strikes and a general state of seeming chaos within the health system has triggered a disastrous scenario with the ambulance service unable to function properly and A&E wards full to capacity.

It’s difficult to know what the solution really is. How can the health service be saved and will masks honestly help?

Most likely not at all, but it is a convenient distraction and gives the public something tangible to do which might make it feel better. The reality is that following Brexit, nurses left in droves and the NHS has been silently imploding internally for years. Nurses will tell you the truth off the record, but a massive overhaul is clearly needed. It may be that there will have to be an accord between the NHS and private sector to alleviate waiting times and pressure on A&E wards. Private health insurance companies could also make more effort to offer more affordable rates in the UK. The cost of private healthcare is horrific compared to Spain and patients are expected to pay up front and claim later unlike here. If more people adopted both systems, the NHS might have a breathing space but not with the current state of affairs.

Meanwhile, mask wearing is just a sop to mask a far greater problem. The NHS needs sorting now,
not later. There isn’t a minute to lose.

Tate modern

I’d never heard of Andrew Tate until his name flashed across my Twitter feed one day. Curiously, I looked at his posts and found them thoroughly distasteful. I could see why he bore the moniker of 2 ‘Mr Toxic Masculinity.’ Now he has been arrested at his Romanian bolthole and is likely to spend an unpleasant 30 days in a Bucharest lock up. It probably couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

All the same, how is it that such an aggressive and lawless individual is the most googled person in the world and one of the biggest influencers globally? He has a massive following among teenage boys and young men and a huge fan club in the Middle East. Go figure. Much of his TikTok ranting is about how to treat women (badly, of course) and how to make a fast buck, ride in swanky sports cars and private jets and develop a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In a report on marginalised communities, one group stood out: young black and white men from low income homes who have little advantage in life. They were often overlooked, had little hope of a good education, and felt embitterment towards the system. It’s not surprising that such individuals might turn to a toxic guru such as Tate for guidance who promises to turn their lives around and set them on the road to success. He describes the global system (political and social) as the Matrix and urges his male followers to fight it at every turn. Who knows what will become of Tate now that he’s been ensnared by the Romanian police on rape and human trafficking charges but I’ve a feeling he may slip the noose yet.

Running and cleaning

For the first time ever, I decided to ignore New Year’s Eve, go to bed early and wake up to running and clearing of household junk the next day. It was liberating and rather nice to rise fresh as a daisy.

I’ve also accepted the challenge of an alcohol-free January which many of my friends do. It’s not something I’ve ever considered before but this year I’m going to give it a try. I love a few glasses of red wine at the weekend but as I have a massive work load this month, I’m sure abstaining will do me the world of good and keep me focused. If not, I know where the bottles are hidden!