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January 23, 2008 > Happy New Year from England

Happy New Year from England

A very Happy New Years to all fellow Newarkers 'across the pond.' What changes will occur around us; how will we change within? Or will everything stay exactly the same?
At the moment in England, shoppers are frantically scurrying round in the January 'Sales.' Reductions are good following a fall in shop sales preceding Christmas. The hoped for last minute surge in spending did not materialise. However, as so many people now choose to shop via the Internet it seems a logical conclusion that the volume of personal shoppers will decrease.
Families the length and breadth of Britain were hit by a particularly virulent stomach bug. Returning to the workplace post Christmas, most had a tale to tell of missed Christmas dinners or, in the case of son Joe and family, "We've made everyone ill, our job here is done, we'll go home now."
During the holiday I took Georgia, age six, to see the film "Enchanted." Daughter Lucy recommended it and I'd seen enough on a cinema trailer to realize it had something for both our age groups. Despite her preference for "Alvin and the Chipmunks," she really enjoyed the modern slant on a traditional fairy tale. Apparently it's a film that has been much more successful in America than here; this is attributed to the British general cynicism and lack of interest in 'happily ever after' scenarios. I did feel a touch mean imposing my choice on young Georgia so promised to take her to see Alvin and friends this weekend if it's still showing. So that's where we're going tomorrow following dance class. Fortunately the 'child within' is a strong force, so I'll probably enjoy it as much as Georgia.
Princess Diana's inquest rumbles on in London. It would be nice if she could finally be left to rest in peace with the respect she deserves. Too many people still stand to benefit from the public discredit of this amazing royal....and at the other extreme, there are those equally warped in their views, for this peace ever to happen. Princess Diana cannot and should not be airbrushed out of history, but she will remain an enigma and an icon the media will never leave alone. She was after all, their 'goose who laid the golden egg,' so they're unlikely to finally terminate the endless speculation, personal views and opinions.
Instead we view the latest targets, the poor dysfunctional stars such as Britney Spears and our own Amy Winehouse. Who says talent and money bring happiness?
Our British media is presently desperately trying to get us interested in your election process. To the average Brit it seems interminable. Just as we think it's over, it starts again! We do however have a chuckle when the time difference leads to the situation where the press announces that Hilary Clinton is a 'write off' with endless 'I told you so's, etc. by which time she is very much back in the race and flushed with success.
Let's just hope for World Leaders of intelligence, leadership skills and the ability to find a peaceful path through all trouble and turmoil.
With that thought I'll wish you all the joys of 2008 and hopes that it will be a good one!

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