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Happy New Year

This last year has been a time when for many, we will be glad to see the back of it. I spent an hour putting together a piece for you detailing all the crap that has hit the fan this year and then - on reflection, thought otherwise. So let's see what we have had this year that has actually brought a smile to our / my face and made me laugh.

With luck and hope, Covid will allow us to get back to normal and much of what we have lost these past 2 years can be reclaimed and restored.

After decades without - we now have a new ABBA album

and vinyl sales soared again in 2021, thanks to Abba

Streisand has a new album out called 'Release Me 2.'

This winter has, so far, been mild. Millions tuned into Netflix.

And You Tube.

Thousands read Hamilton Hall's weekly Blog started because of lockdown.

Neighbours met for the first time while clapping for the NHS. Some even came out singing and dancing.

Richard Branson was the first ' space tourist' to fly into space - if briefly.

103-year-old veteran survives COVID-19, 102-year-old woman survives the virus twice

Major Lee Wooten got quite the sendoff from staff at Madison Hospital on Dec. 1 after he was given a clean bill of health. Not only did Wooten, also known as “Pop pop” by staff, beat the novel coronavirus, but he did it at 103 years of age.

Netflix documentary series ‘Tiger King’ excites millions

In March, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness” became a hit series with 34 million people tuning in to the documentary within the first 10 days of its debut.

Police officer receives life-saving transplant from woman he put in jail 8 years ago

Jocelynn James, a recovered drug addict and former member of “Franklin’s Most Wanted,” saved the life of the police officer who put her in jail nearly a decade ago.

James said Terrell Potter, a former officer with Phil Campbell Police Department, saved her by arresting her and leading her to turn her life around. “I’m perfect, I’m healthy, and I had no idea that I was that healthy,James said.

Last November, Potter learned that his kidney was failing and only functioning at 5%. Doctors told Potter that he would face a seven to eight-year waiting period for a kidney.

After scrolling through Facebook, James learned that Potter needed a kidney. “I just threw my phone down and the holy spirit told me right then that I had that man’s kidney.”

After a series of hospital tests, James learned that they were a perfect match.“If you asked me 100 names of who may give me a kidney, her name would have not been on the list,” Potter said. “It’s just unbelievable that she was willing to do that.”

UK gives 1st COVID-19 vaccine doses

A retired British shop clerk received the first shot in the United Kingdom’s

COVID-19 vaccination program Dec. 8th the start of an unprecedented global immunization effort intended to offer a route out of the pandemic, according to the Associated Press. It is always a thumbs up when the UK does something right.

Captain Sir Tom Moore's Epic Fundraising Walk He raised - in all - over £32 million and was given a knighthood and the respect of the whole of the UK.

We saw justice metred out for

Former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges related to the murder of George Floyd and has pled guilty in the federal civil rights version of the case

The U.S. survived its first major coup plot on Jan. 6With participants in the insurrection being charged and some facing significant jail time, new efforts to mobilize — including September's "Justice for J6" rally — fizzled.

Donald Trump. Let's remember that in early 2021, he was impeached - again, he lost his main mouthpiece, Twitter, and his attempt to build a rival social media service seems to have stalled.

QAnon is in decline — its major hashtags have evaporated and Twitter shut down some 70,000 Q accounts.

U.S. troops left Afghanistan, winding down a deadly 20-year intervention.

COVID has returned with a vengeance, but we have been winning battles against other deadly diseases.

Malaria, which kills half a million people a year, mostly in Africa, might be vanquished thanks to a groundbreaking vaccine, the first ever for a parasitic disease.

On the HIV front, a new vaccine has shown a 97% response rate in Phase I clinical trials. Almost 40 million people were living with HIV in 2020, and hundreds of thousands of people die from AIDS-related illnesses each year. While the vaccine is still in Phase I trials, it is an extremely hopeful sign for 2022.

While not nearly enough, there were some key environmental gains, with Biden starting his term by re-entering the Paris climate accords and from the original lockdowns ion 2020 we have learned that the planet is very capable of cleaning up the environmental mess we create.

The COP26 meeting put a spotlight on the urgent need for revved up environmental action, with environmental activists worldwide pressuring their own governments to step up.

China, is building the largest energy installation in history, a whopping 100 gigawatts of wind and solar power (the entire capacity, as of 2021, of U.S. solar energy), and plans to plant a Belgium-sized area of forest every year going forward.

There have actually been some advances for women's choice this year. When we look beyond the outrageous anti-abortion law in Texas that empowers private citizens to sue abortion providers and for people to report friends and family they suspect of planning an abortion:- but then this is America we are talking about here - we see that many countries in the rest of the world are moving in the opposite direction. In 2021, abortion was legalized in South Korea, Thailand and Argentina, while safe access increased in New Zealand, Ecuador, and Uruguay.

Jaw dropping moments were to be found while watching the 2021 Olympics.

Adele made fans feel less alone with her new album, “30,” and her fervent plea for grace in her hit single, “Easy On Me.”

The return to live music.

The return to theatres and live shown.

John Legend, Halle Berry and Ringo Starr, got vaccinated and encouraged others to do the same.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck got back together.

William Shatner and Michael Strahan went to space.

More Than 8.47 Billion Covid-19 Vaccinations Were Administered Globally

The Ever Given Was Freed From the Suez Canal.

For many, NOT SEEING FAMILY for the Festive Season has been a God send.

Many have had time to sit in the garden which is usually only on days off from work.

I am sure you will be able to add to this somewhat messy list and I welcome your input and if you look towards the darkness, all you will see is darkness. If you look towards the light, you can see forever. It is all about what you choose to focus your attention on - doom and gloom or a new beginning ?
It is - as always - up to you.




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