What a year! A year that is likely to be remembered in history for a long time. A year of political upheavals, untimely deaths of prominent people, contentious US electioneering, immigration protests, starving children in war zones, Fidel Castro, new technology changing news reporting, President Trudeau of Canada, Mexicans causing trouble, Russia threatening neighbouring countries, Olympic success in the Americas and a change in the world order.
Yes, 1968 was certainly a year of momentous events. How do I remember 1968? It was a year of teenage fun, friends, love and great music. I can remember the news stories, but overall I would say 1968 was a great year.
In January I wrote about the York floods and there’s no doubt that whatever 2015 had been like for those people whose homes were flooded, it finished traumatically for them. 2016 will have started badly, but I wonder how they will reflect on this year on New Years Eve. Will all 366 days have been bad ones? Will there be days when they can recall happier moments, however small?
* Until fairly recently there appeared very little positive being written about 2016. It was all 'doom, doom, we're all doomed.' Then as the year end became hijacked by more celebrity deaths, it seems that people realised that good things did happen and some columnists are attempting to put 2016 into perspective. I am sure that while we all know people who have had a pretty awful year and that may include ourselves, we will also know people for whom 2016 has been a good year, if not a fantastic year. What about the Brexit/Trump supporters who have little interest in the Arts and social media and whose domestic lives were fairly untroubled this year?
* One columnist complained about the outpouring of grief over the deaths over Christmas, particularly George Michael. I felt a sadness for a talented song writer/singer and troubled soul who died alone and tears did come to my eyes, but they weren't for George Michael, they were for me and the past. I can enjoy his music, but there is one song that brings back a mass of memories from 1991. Just one song out of many, that I heard on the car radio on a journey home from work in London to home in Buckinghamshire. The words mean very little, I just love the tune and the memories are strong and bittersweet. The majority of people who are upset at the death of a celebrity are more sad for themselves, than the celebrity.
*That has reminded me of a client whose driving phobia was associated with a panic attack she experienced when driving. It was then repeated many times before she saw me. The root? We traced it to a song that came on the car radio, a song that had also been on the radio as she left the house some time before with paramedics, when she was having a miscarriage.
*As Noel Coward wrote: "Strange how potent cheap music is." And how powerful and helpful it is proving to be with people with dementia.