The personal year ahead

EVERYONE is making predictions about 2009, but I’ll leave that to Iain Dale

Because in 2008, I called the US election completely wrongly. More importantly, my tip for X-Factor winner was knocked out half way through the live finals. So we’ve established something: I’m no good at predictions.

But I am confident about some things this year: there will be elections – Euro and local council – in June. GB may even decide to hold a general election on the same day. Who knows?*

As for the family, this is the dreaded year that Ronnie will start school, so expect many tears and tantrums in the Harris household come August (from Carolyn, not Ronnie).

Next month I will turn 45, which means I’m only a few years away from being officially considered middle-aged…

In March, this blog will celebrate its first anniversary: a public holiday may or may not be declared.

Then, at Easter, the latest Doctor Who special, Planet of the Dead, will be shown.

At the cinema, I’m looking forward to seeing Watchmen, Frost/Nixon and Star Trek.

I always feel personally optimistic at the start of each year. But it’s impossible to avoid the harsh truth that for a lot of my fellow citizens, 2009 is going to be very difficult. With unemployment going up and house prices set to fall throughout the year, a lot of people will find very little to be optimistic about. 

I make no political point about this: I find that those faced with the threat of the dole queue or with losing their homes are less than impressed by politicians who want to debate where and how the recession started instead of coming up with solutions to current problems.

So in 2009 I will try to be a good husband, a good dad, a good friend and a good MP.

And though this blog, I will try to offer comments and insights that are as honest as possible, and as funny as advisable. I will continue to be as open as possible to critical comments, while continuing my policy of deleting or spamming rude and offensive comments, and will occasionally respond in kind to some of the less polite observations made here.

And I will try my hardest to retain as many of the new readers I’ve attracted in the past nine months.

If we’re very, very lucky, 2009 will be a dull, dull year. But I have a feeling it will be more eventful and interesting than 2008. 

May God help us all.


* No-one.



Filed under Blogging, Family life, Hinterland

11 responses to “The personal year ahead

  1. 45 huh? You’re thus still 13 years away from even approaching middle age. Mind you it surprised me a little when my big sister got her bus pass last year. Actually it was one of those wonderful Oyster passes that over sixties in London get which allows them to roam freely the bus, tram, tube and train networks. I’ll only get one that will allow me to get to Gloucester now and then or to Tewkesbury when the tide’s in.

    Almost worth moving back to the metropolis; what do Glaswegian oldies get?

  2. timbone

    That was good Tom, I enjoyed reading it, one of those bits of writing which has a little glow between the lines.

    I am a bit confused about this middle age thing though. According to the WHO, it is 35 to 69!! mmm a bit of a joke that, but there was a reason why they said it. Anyway, enough of that. It is a long time ago that the Psalmist said (or was is Hosea?) “four score years are mine if I’m lucky and I stay in good health”. I know many live over eighty now, but I still think that ‘four score years’ is a good innings, even the old ‘three score years and ten’ is acceptable.

    So, middle age? As far as I am concerned (58 on February 14th) life begins at 50 (used to be 40), let’s see how I feel when I am 60.

  3. Johnny Norfolk

    Things will not improve ’till we change the government.

    Every generation has to learn the hard way about Labour.

  4. pr roger j clementine iii cbe

    Surely 45 would only be considered middle age if you intend to live until you are 90 (and I wouldn’t advise that)?

    Either way, it doesn’t matter, coz, Tam, a really fancy you! Every time I see your wee Labour face my heart skips a beat and my stomach jives a jive that could only be described as ‘I love the Honourable Memember’!


  5. Auntie Flo'

    “May God help us all.”

    I second that.

    I went to bed with a feeling of foreboding in respect of this coming year and woke up feeling the same. Need to snap out of this, I told myself, I’m one of life’s optimists and must get back to positive mode, I’m back in my office tomorrow.

    Thought I’d cheer myself up by watching sections of Mama Mia on Youtube. I love that film, but it has me yearning for what we’ve lost in this frgid, post modernist, so called progressive, age ruled by icy relativism: a sense of community and values.

    Perhaps that’s why Mama Mia is such a massive hit?

  6. Frost/Nixon is better than I thought it would be.

  7. “May God help us all.”

    I third that after Auntie Flo’.

    We must stop pretending we can go it alone. We truly cannot. History proves that when a society becomes reprobate, the only way is down.

    The Almighty has given us the ability to do great things and we are increasingly doing not so great things. The liberal/’humanist’ agenda will relegate the UK to the league of corrupt banana republics.

    People increasingly think there are no rules. They think it’s OK to rip people off, including the Government who take our taxes and throw money around like confetti. I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t to wage unnecessary wars and pay an underclass to remain permanently that way, estranged from the rest of society by being stuck in a mindset of failure and dependency.

    There seem to be few rules on a swathe of ethical issues. Our society has practically resigned itself to accept anyone’s behaviour based on their body chemistry, whether of a sexual or criminal nature.

    “Free” contraception and abortions are available for the former and the diagnosis of a “disorder” and medication are routinely offered for the latter.

    I’m sure things will become very hard/even harder for a lot of people in 2009, but some will start to remember that playing the Almighty’s way is the only way.

    …and I was 45 in the summer. Keeping young at heart is all the matters. I couldn’t give a monkey’s about my cholesterol level; I don’t care if my demise is attributed to a surfeit of cake – and I won’t be trying to sue Mr. Kipling.

    Sadly, we live in a blame culture because of the systematic neglect of encouraging responsibility. It produces a weak, feeble-minded people – just what the ones at the top of the pyramid require. The rest of us, politicians included, just cannot continue to operate this way.

  8. John

    Today, Saturday, according to reports, the BBC are naming the ‘chosen one’.

    Perhaps, given your knowledge on the subject, you could predict who that person may be?

  9. Alas, I have no inside information. Yesterday I asked Steven Moffat to give me a hint. He told me, politely, to sod off. I can offer you a guess – Paterson Joseph – and I can tell you who I’d like it to be – Marc Warren. But like everyone else I’m going to have to wait until 5.35 today. So long as it’s not a woman…

  10. Rapunzel

    “So long as it’s not a woman….”



    Note to self: Resolve not to rise to bait.
    Leave that to others.

    Gloating will be permitted if new Doctor is female.

  11. Norman Bates


    Perhaps you will find time to point The Great Helmsman and poor bug-eyed Chancellor to this article, before they waste even more of our hard-earned money. Whilst referencing the USA, it explains why the creation of additional debt upon debt will not work.

    Your thoughts appreciated, as well.

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