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I'm Fred. I arrived on the scene in 2002 in a paper bag. I was given as a birthday present. I live with "Him" and "Her". I spend a lot of time on my shelf above their bed thinking. We also spend quite a lot of our time on our Narrowboat "Jophina II" . My blog is about my thoughts and experiences.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Fred's thoughts on the year just past and hopes for the year to come.

It seems to me that 2011 has been a year of particular change and of significant events both geo/political and natural disasters.
There are many images which I think we will hold for some time to come.
The so called Arab Spring where uprisings in N Africa and the Middle East led to fundamental change in several countries not least of which was Libya where Col Gaddaffi was eventually overthrown and suffered a humiliating death which was spread round the world on social media. Incidentally a few years ago He met Muammar Gaddafi Ahmed Kadaf al-Dam the Colonel’s cousin who is now in exile in Egypt and who bore a striking resemblance to the Libyan leader.
Who will ever forget the images of the Japanese Tsunami? It was very easy to watch the coverage on TV with a sort of detached feeling but when you separate yourself from the spectacle of cars and buildings being washed away   and realise that people, thousands of people, in one of the most developed nations on earth are losing their lives on TV, the reality is terrible. More than 15000 died but who knows what the legacy of the ensuing damage to the Fukshima nuclear plant will be.
Let’s not forget the floods in Australia, Thailand and Tanzania nor the earthquakes in New Zealand and Turkey.
The Royal Wedding in April was stunning. He and I were home alone (the others having gone away on a Hen weekend whatever one of those is) leaving us to have what I suppose we could call a Bear Weekend! We had every intention of going to the boat but got caught up in the event on TV. We thought it was fantastic – just the sort of thing the British do well – but the overriding thought was one of hope. We just felt that Prince William and his bride offered hope for the future of our Monarchy and a real hope that it will modernise in a manner suitable for this century but at the same time not lose sight of heritage.
In August there were riots in several parts of Britain with wanton destruction and theft of other people’s property. Shameful really.
Osama Bin Laden the world’s most wanted man was killed in an American raid in Pakistan which had and is still having, political repercussions. But was this the right thing to do? Is it right to invade another nation (albeit temporarily) and kill someone? I know he was the head of a terrorist group responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people and it was undoubtedly a PR coup but did it really damage Al Qaeda which is such a diverse and fragmented group? I was quite disturbed at the scenes of jubilation from the USA where the “eye for an eye” attitude still prevails.
The war in Afghanistan continued with many many more deaths and injuries.
The depths to which the press will sink to bring us a story were revealed to be even lower that we had previously thought  but on the other hand are we ( well the human population – bears aren’t that good at reading) also to blame for having the appetite to read such stuff?
The financial turmoil in the world continued with many losing their jobs. The Eurozone crisis came to a head in the last part of the year. Am I alone in being baffled by the complexity of this issue? The magnitude of the numbers involved are beyond comprehension but we are all affected by these events and will be for years to come. Thank goodness Britain didn’t join the Euro as some of our political masters in the past would have had us do. Our problems are big enough as it is. Will Britain remain in the EU, will the EU remain intact, will the Euro survive, where and when will it all end? These are all questions to be answered in the years to come or have we reached our financial Armageddon?
So there we are. My thoughts on the year just past. By any standards not a good one but like the Royal Wedding we must look for hope in everything or else we are lost.
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2012 – let us hope that we have all learned lessons from our experiences in 2011.

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