Here’s hop­ing every­one can look for­ward to an an­nus bril­liantus

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

IHOPE and trust that you all had a won­der­ful Christ­mas and en­joyed the sea­son of good­will for all it’s worth, be­cause it’s gone be­fore you know it. The prepa­ra­tions seemed to start back in Septem­ber, and in the blink of an eye caught up with you and you’re rush­ing into town on Christ­mas Eve for some­thing that you’ve man­aged to com­pletely over­look, like the turkey. The next thing you know, its all over and done with and all you’re left with is the turkey skele­ton sit­ting on the side wrapped in foil with just enough meat on to make three more bloom­ing turkey sarnies, 10 bin lin­ers of rub­bish (for re­cy­cling), 200 empty booze bot­tles (ditto) and a bun­dle of presents that need to be re­turned be­cause they’re the wrong size, wrong colour or just wrong in gen­eral. Oh how I feel sorry for those of you who work in re­tail. I’m sure it won’t be long be­fore the shops start open­ing at lunchtime on Christ­mas Day. But now is the time for looking for­ward, not back. As we draw the cur­tains on 2009 and step on to the es­ca­la­tor of a new year and in­deed a new decade, which I think should be now named the “one-ders”. Our hopes and dreams are re­plen­ished as we put into action a brand new plan to make our­selves bet­ter peo­ple. Gyms up and down the coun­try are be­ing threat­ened to be joined as we pay the price for our overindul­gence. I’d like to take this op­por­tu­nity and valu­able pa­per space to re­flect on the past year of my col­umn and for­give my own self-in­dul­gence as I take a ret­ro­spec­tive stroll down my Mem­ory Lane. The Queen once spoke of her an­nus hor­ri­bilis, but I’m pleased to say mine was far from that. So back to Jan­uary and the stark re­al­i­sa­tion on my birth­day (Jan­uary 17, don’t make a song and a dance about it) that I was closer to 50 than to 40. That hurt. It kind of set the prece­dent for the year as I got bogged down in my own per­sonal cru­sade against my “mid-life” anonymity. This was no more ap­par­ent than when I told you about my in­ter­est in pur­chas­ing some slip­pers for the first time in my life. For this I was quite cor­rectly chas­tised in an open let­ter to the pa­per and one that knocked me back into shape, I must add. Then there was an­other cor­re­spon­dence that the KE printed, from a man sug­gest­ing that I talked far too of­ten about an old celebrity friend of mine. In my job, you have to take the rough with the smooth. We all love the plau­dits, but the crit­i­cism can some­times drag you down. I never did get the chance to re­spond to this gen­tle­man and all I will say is that I apol­o­gise, you can’t please all the peo­ple all the time. As I once said at a din­ner party I at­tended with Kylie, Bono, Sting and Christo­pher Big­gins, no­body likes a name-dropper. Sadly I have only enough space to wish you all a very happy new year and I hope that if your an­nus was hor­ri­bilis, that it be­comes bril­liantus in 2010.

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