Slightly belated, but I've decided that it's time to start trying to write something at least once a week.
Last year was not a good one for Mrs EP and myself with us both having a number of health problems. Thankfully, the NHS, at long last, appears to have sorted things out for both of us, we are both feeling better and hopefully we can both look forward to 2017 with more optimism.
A slightly disappointing start to the year from a bell-ringer's point of view; this was the first year since WW2 that we have not been able to "Ring in the New Year" at our Parish Church simply because insufficient ringers were available; we now have only eight reasonable ringers along with a couple of 'apprentices' which is not enough for eight bells after allowing for absences due to sickness or other commitments. Only one of the eight ringers has not retired, and some young blood is essential if we are to keep the bells ringing for Sunday Service, weddings and other special occasions.
As far as we both are concerned, the highlight of the year was the vote for Brexit. A majority of those who voted saw through all the gloom, doom and dire predictions. The country is still here, we're not all starving and life seems reasonably normal for all of us except those who have to use Southern Rail. Fortunately, as I can still drive, the only time that I now use public transport is to attend the local hospital using my pensioner's bus pass, so avoiding the £1.50 per hour hospital parking charge.
To me, the most unexpected event of the year was the election of Donald Trump as the new American President. My reaction is that he was the better of the two candidates, but I simply can't understand why a country of some 320 million people couldn't find two better candidates. Nevertheless, we could be in for an interesting year!
The worse aspect of 2016 has been the rise of Islamic terrorism with major attacks in France and Germany. I fear for something similar in this country and am thankful that nothing has happened so far over the Christmas and New Year period.
So much for 2016. I would conclude by wishing my readers a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year.
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