New Year (December 31st 2008)
Count blessings. 2008 has been on the wrong side of awful but even in the darker financial and emotional moments that most of us have experienced there have been benefits and pleasures that far too many people in far too many seemingly God-forsaken countries can only imagine in their dreams.
It probably will get worse before it gets better and there is no ray yet that is heralding a new dawn. The occasion may not be attractive but we either rise to it or we sink. 2009, therefore, has to be the year in which belts are tightened, spending is reduced and we try to help to take care of each other and those who, in increasing numbers, are likely to find life becoming very hard indeed.
Those of us who have already lived through recession did not expect that we and those that we represent and care about would have to go through it again. Go through it, though, we will - and if the right people are given the opportunity to take the right decisions in time it may not be as long or as hard as many at present fear. In the meantime Suzy and I wish you peace and health in this New Year.