Gosh, here we are! Welcome, all! Please, gather round!
What to say… what to say? Well, it’s hard not to echo the sentiments spilt over annual reflection pieces the world over. Insofar as this year has been a disaster, not too dissimilar to the year before. Even worse in South Africa, where our tourism industry has been dealt a second blow – right at the moment they were about to recoup whatever losses they had incurred from the previous season.
The fact that Boris Johnson has now lifted the travel ban is completely irrelevant – almost worse, in fact. The damage has been done. It’s too late – everyone cancelled their SA trips when the travel ban was first imposed, and they’ve booked elsewhere. It really is quite breathtaking how that unfolded at such a crucial moment – literally the week many millions of Rands were been transferred as deposits for end of year SA holidays. He should have just kept the travel ban so the ‘what if’ was further from our minds.
One can probably draw parallels between that unfortunate timing and the final moments of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. So many split-second decisions made, almost without a chance for anyone to even consider what they were doing. You have to give credit to Red Bull for pitting Max, not knowing what was about to unfold. You might have also caught Lewis asking to do the same but he was informed the gap between him and Max was too tight and he would lose track position if he ‘boxed’. And so played out one of the most dramatic and controversial (if not ‘the’?) finishes to an F1 season in history. We’re pretty sure Toto Wolff repeated this freaking-out moment filmed at the previous F1 race in Jeddah.
One wonders if that Abu Dhabi end sequence was engineered for Netflix viewing pleasure, perhaps? Very possibly, if you read agree with this Daily Mail piece.
Which brings to life the influence the media and big business has over world events, so perfectly characterised in the HBO series Succession, which was possibly my highlight of 2021. I can only compare watching that series to eating chocolate – with this week’s season three finale coming pretty close to having melted Toblerone poured all over my naked body. Something I often do.
As to what could happen next in season four, cast your eyes over this fantastic Guardian piece.
One series tip I can give you – just the tip – is a series called You on Netflix. Fantastic. I have a feeling you’ll relate to it very much. Check it out here.
And so forth into 2022 we charge. Two things come to mind for me at the end of every year.
Firstly, I just love the desperate need we all have to start fresh, and the end of the year seems to present a blank canvas of sorts. January 1 could just as well be December 32 – just another day. But it’s not. For some reason, we see it as a complete reset. A fresh start – to rid us of the stains and blemishes that tainted the preceding year. And so we gingerly add brushstrokes to the fresh canvas – so carefully and with great pride. Living better. Being better.
And so, by March (things only kick off in February) we start to see the beginnings of a Monet forming. It’s exciting. Another month goes by. But then the four-year-old visits the easel while we’re out, and things start to get a little fucked. We have no choice but to destroy the first canvas and start again. I mean, it’s only April – it’s still early days, right?
Wrong. April is a blink and the next thing you know it’s November. And as I said to Big Cheeser Bob the other day, it’s literally ALWAYS November. And that’s something you just have to accept. Just accept that tomorrow is basically November 2022 and you’ll be on another downhill white-knuckle rollercoaster ride, praying to get to the next new year, just so you can have another go at your Monet.
But hey, we mustn’t think like that. It’s about the journey, of course! Savour every moment and all that! Which is great in principle, but near to impossible when five people try to call you at the same time and you have to answer every call because you’re expecting your new bank card to be delivered by CCD couriers.
Which brings me to the second thing I muse over, when it comes to the end of year. It’s quite literally the only time of year that everyone is on the same page for once. I’m talking about everybody leaving each other alone. Because everyone’s holidays are matching for one. Even emails virtually stop! Not that anyone uses emails with any serious intent these days.
Have a lovely restful end of year, friends.
To see you off, here are four very important nuggets I have been teaching anyone who will listen.
Ciao. See you on January 10.
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