LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
28 December 2014
2015 Already

I know. You are saying to yourself and anyone who will listen: "2014 is over
already? How can that be? Were we locked in a quantum physics model?"

You are right. Well, not about the quantum physics bit, but It did just seem to
pick up momentum on its own and now we're about to embrace 2015. Perhaps
not with unrestrained enthusiasm.

Economists, futurists, political commentators are informing us that 2015 will be
'unpredictable' at best. Wider rich and poor divide, unstable countries, the
Middle East mess unsolvable, the world will continue to melt, immigration
desperation, bigger bonuses for bankers. Surely you can barely contain your
excitement.

Let's live in hope in 2015 we won't suffer to the point of losing the collective will to
live with more exposed celebrity bottoms (the very imagine of that grotesque
oiled big bum - you do know the one I mean - is just too creepy to repeat), one
of the worst books ever written soon to be in your local cinema (yes, it's 50
Shades of Grey), more hysteria filling pages and pages when the spare heir is
born (oh yawn), more narcissism (not possible is it?), the Tories over-spending
to win the May election giving them carte blanche to sell what's left of Britain (be
afraid, be very afraid), all, yes all our civil liberties taken away. I know - so many
more to list.

A quick recap of 2014, as if you could forget: Brazil - out of the World Cup,
protests for democracy extinguished, mysteriously missing flights, some of the
worst weather ever, beheadings and child rapes, children recruited as suicide
bombers, the riches of the rich increasing as we sleep, the poor living on the
streets, the middle class appears to be alive and well only in China, despairing
immigrants willing to die to escape their horror of their homeland, disregarding
Ebola until it might kill white people, Americans taking joy in unimaginable covert
torture, total surveillance of our every move/email/text/thought, Russia acting like
Russia, people now so fat - even the UK is only second to Hungary (how apt). I
must stop as I am plunging into hopelessness.

With families sitting round the TV to celebrate the festive season, relief is
coming; the inevitable 'reasons to be cheerful' with the very last episodes of
excruciating family fun. We will be spared the pathetic attempts at humour on
TV. Puerile, pathetic Miranda - gone...cringe-worthy, creepy Derek - gone...the
truly unwatchable, crude and nasty Mrs Brown's Boys - gone. And then there is
the annoyingly inaccurate soap that is Downton Abbey - or am I dreaming? No.
There really is a TV god.

OK. A few real reasons to be cheerful. Peaky Blinders, Broadchurch, Plebs,
Foyle's War, The Wrong Mans - oh dear, I hope I'm not in false hope with
James Corden off to conquer and become incredibly rich in LA (the only show
where I can actually watch him, but that's due to Mathew Baynton really) and the
gritty French crime drama Spiral. Crucial comfort to 'real' life.

Pass the mince pies please. I'm staying home for January. Happy New Year.
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