WHAT a tumultuous and totally confusing year 2018 has been regarding the EU Deal or No Deal.

Bring on the World Trade Organisation tariff structure. Tax cuts too as we need not send £39bn to the snouts in the trough in Brussels.

Calm down! For as with everyone, the 2018 volume has been printed up, leather-bound and embellished with gold embossed lettering and taken its place on the imaginary bookshelf next to a lifetime of similar tomes.

The 12 chapters contained therein detail the laughter, tears and frustrations of yet another year and they offer moments for gentle sagacious reflection.

The new 2019 volume is already to hand and contains blank pages that will soon begin to accommodate the everyday story of this country boy commencing with chapter one — January.

January was named after the Roman God Janus who had two faces — one looking forward and one looking backward.

One looking forward to the challenges and the hoped for achievements in the year ahead particularly with the EU situation immediately ahead of us. The other aware of the knowledge and experience as well as the lessons learnt that the old year had provided, if any.

A new year always refreshes with a renewed impetus and wipes the slate clean of any past misdemeanours so providing the opportunity to improve. It has echoes of an end of term school report stating. “could do better.” Oh yes, I know it well.

Unfortunately, for me it is only a new start for old habits. Yes, I will have another glass of Sauvignon, thank you so much.

We ponder the New Year’s resolutions. Shamefaced I hear the broken promises quietly whispered to myself, that go in one year and out the other. Where did that positive resolve disappear to —- and so quickly.

Like most people, every year brings joy and sadness. The making of new acquaintances but the passing of old friends. Cherished memories that will never die. We must count our blessings for no one knows what tomorrow may bring, so we must endeavour to make the most of today.

Will this year be productive and full of achievement and good experiences or will there be wasted opportunities along the way. Oh no! The EU raises its head yet again. Why can’t I get it out of my mind? The fleeting passage of time moves at such speed, and whilst not wanting to wish my time away, I feel that I shall soon be reading about how I have faired in volume 2019.

I sincerely hope that when the time comes at the year’s end, your expectation level is as good and as satisfying a read as you would wish.

Wishing a joyful, fulfilling and healthy new year to all Advertiser readers in 2019, especially after March 29!

John “Pop My Cork” Porter, Millway Road, Andover