SO how was 2012 for you? I have to say it wasn’t the most exciting year for me.
I didn’t win an Oscar, a Nobel prize or even the lottery. I didn’t embrace a new hobby to give me a new zest for life. I had contemplated Zumba, rock climbing and macramé in January – not to be undertaken all at the same time of course – but started none of them. I didn’t end the year any thinner or fitter than when I started it. And most disappointingly of all, Michael Bublé still hasn’t come to the inevitable realisation that I am the true love of his life.
However, even though the year wasn’t particularly special for me, I still think 2012 will be one of the most memorable in all our lifetimes because it was the year when we finally worked out that it is acceptable to be proud to be British.
Of course, it all started with the Queen’s jubilee.
Now, there were certain old cynics among us, who thought that there was no way the jubilee could match up to the royal wedding of the year before for an excess of national fervour.
But I think Will and Kate’s union seemed almost like a dress rehearsal before the real deal this year – the Queen’s celebration of her 60 years on the throne.
Even the most hardened anti-royalist would have found it difficult not to be moved by the extraordinary scenes on the Thames that day in early June.
I thought the flotilla was truly magical and an extremely regal celebration befitting of Her Majesty.
Unlike the next day’s concert outside Buckingham Palace.
Unfortunately, although there were some enjoyable moments during the concert (particularly the brilliant light show on the palace while Madness played their set on the roof), there were some appallingly misguided bookings (Grace Jones? Cheryl Cole?).
And of course the whole thing ended with a very ropey performance by a certain Mr McCartney, who in my mind should never again be asked to sing in public.
The Queen attended, naturally, but Prince Philip did not as he had been admitted to hospital with a bladder infection. Perhaps a night in the King Edward VII Hospital was preferable to sitting through a gig that included performances by Jessie J, Cliff Richard and Will.i.am. He had a point!
But of course 2012 will also be remembered for the amazing spectacle that was the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
I remember writing in this esteemed publication that I was nervous that we wouldn’t be able to carry it off; that if we couldn’t keep the country’s transport service running when there was a strong breeze or a drop of rain, how on Earth were we going to stage the world’s most important sporting event?
But amazingly we did, and by George, didn’t we do it brilliantly?
It really was the most remarkable summer of sport and spectacle.
And speaking as someone who is distinctly alien to organised sport either as a competitor or a spectator, I completely loved it.
The staging, the organisation, the ceremonial, the Games Makers, and, on top of all that, the success of our British Olympians and Paralympians truly brought the country to its feet.
I have never felt such great unity and pride in this country, and it was a pleasure to be part of it.
Of course there have also been some pretty awful occurrences this year.
The weather has been atrocious, leading to some of the worst flooding the country has ever seen; we’re still in the grips of a terrible financial crisis; and we are now aware of one of the most awful and shocking media sex scandals dating back 40 years.
However, I think we should forget all the negatives for now and start 2013 as a proud nation, one which has proved something huge to the rest of the world.
We should take that pride and build on it during 2013 – who knows what great things we might achieve next?
As for me, well I think I need to start 2013 with a bit of renewed vigour and maybe this year I really will have a go at one of those hobbies.
Now where did I put the number for that Zumba class?
? NOTE TO SELF: Happy New Year!