I imagine 2012 has been a bit of rollercoaster for many people. It certainly has for me, but 500 words isn't enough space to go into detail about the ups and downs of both my business life at the King's Head and my personal life, what's left of it when running a pub, so I won't even try!
I'm therefore going to stick to a single, generic point, which is my growing frustration with many things in life.
Now you could argue, and many would, that I'm merely suffering from "grumpy old man syndrome".
I'm not sure when that particular milestone is supposed to appear along the road of life but it has to be somewhere around the 45-year marker?
Maybe some established grumpy-old-men, or long-suffering grumpy-old-men's partners, can help me out with an answer to that one!
Or it could simply be a short term side-effect of the tough year that most of us have faced.
There's little doubt I'm in one of the worst businesses for the impact that austerity has had.
I don't want to ponder on negativity, so the following is written with a sense that these things will get better next year, not worse, but if there's one thing that will stick in my mind for 2012, amongst everything else, it will be the sheer amount of frustration I've felt at some of the year's all-too-regular stories.
I can sum up the main ones generally in the following four titles:
There are many examples, both local, national and global, across many different areas, but they can all be perfectly encapsulated with the single phrase, "We're all in this together".
Never has a phrase summed up a ridiculously self-evident untruth as that one!
Of course, we've always had greed and we always will, but this year has seen an unprecedented number of announcements related to greed or selfishness. The most obvious examples being yet another big corporation and/or celebrity outed as tax avoiders. Is nobody else amazed at the sheer number of rich and successful businesses or business individuals who apparently make absolutely no profit? They must all be magicians!
I've never known a time in my whole life where so many people will complain about things but so few people will attempt, personally, to do anything about it. This is most often seen in the area of green issues, where many people talk about it but few are willing to sacrifice anything themselves.
From the obsession with quick fixes by governments around the world – that attempt to fix an immediate problem at the expense of the future, to local decisions made on a whim rather than for the long term benefit of the city.
I, for one, am certainly looking forward to a much better 2013…
Landlord of the King's Head
Wells High Street