I feel a bit of a failure. No wild new year's eve parties here Chez Goode. We had our family tradition of a Chinese meal together, watched a film together (Jaws, the kids' choice, but a surprisingly good film - I haven't seen it for ages and ages), and now, approaching midnight, I'm the only one left awake.
The day kicked off at 5 am when youngest son and his sleepover chum decided it was time to get up. They woke the hound, who started howling, and that was that. It's been a fun day though: this afternoon we enjoyed a lengthy walk in Richmond Park with some good friends who also have a dog.
I won't go into detail about our 2006; it's enough to say that it was a great year, but also a difficult year, as most are. Life is mixed, and I suppose that's part of it's richness - although I could do with a little less of the difficulty in 2007.
One closing thought. The BBC news site has a piece discussing a claim by Hazel Blears, the Labour Party Chair, that Brits are not ready to drink less. It suggests that educational messages on the dangers of heavy drinking aren't working. But why don't politicians ask the following question: why is it that people want to drink to dangerous levels?
Isn't it because, to put it rather cornily, there is something missing from most people's lives? Could it be because there is a disconnect between the messages sent out by society, and the needs of human 'hearts' (to use a helpful metaphor)? All the time we are being told by society - one in which our participation is largely as consumers - that if we achieve a degree of prosperity, a significant other, and a job with a degree of status, then we will be satisfied. We play the game, jump through the hoops, and still there is something missing. Or the pressure to achieve all this is simply too much. Drink simply numbs this pain. Educational messages aren't the answer. Meeting people's real needs is likely to be a more fruitful strategy.