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Hello 2017 !

Have just finished seeing the New Year in with neighbours and family. The fireworks were spectacular, but half the time I was thinking why are we  sending all this money up in smoke? On the other hand, according to Chinese tradition, crackers and noise are to keep evil spirits away though these days we are more likely to call them stress and depression, and they have certainly done that.
 May the New Year bring you all you hope for and much more. We also hope our elected representatives, bankers,bureaucrats and others who hold our lives in their hands are all busy making New Year resolutions to behave honourably and wisely and do better this year in the best interests of all.

The Japanese custom of Old Year Forgetting which includes making up with those with whom we have had disagreements and paying up all one's bills, also has a lot to recommend it.

For those who don't have much to celebrate this year because of illness, turmoil, incarceration or persecution, may this year bring peace, health and new opportunities. Each year is a new beginning, a chance to do things better, be kinder. If we have to burn some money once a year to remind ourselves of this, so be it.   Here's a lovely Irish Blessing just sent to me by a friend. It comes from The Irish Way website which also has some great jokes which are sure to to get your year off to a happy start.

Salut, Bottoms Up, Skol or whatever you want to call it, I will drink to that.