I am glad I’m not the Queen, the Pope or someone else who is expected to impart a message of meaningful inspiration at this time of the year.

I do want to wish you a happy New Year but what comes after that?

Honestly, the only resolution we can make is to have faith that everything is going to turn out okay and we’re not all going to die in some global catastrophe – probably caused by megalomaniacs having access to red buttons they shouldn’t even know exist let along have the power to push them!

You really wonder what the new year will bring.

Certainly, we face more trouble in the Middle East. I don’t care which side of the Israel-Palestine fence you are on, there are times when leave well alone is the best policy.

My husband has an inelegant Scottish saying which, put at its politest, refers to holding the posterior of a cat too close to the fire. The moral is, it’s bound to cause trouble.

Declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel is the equivalent of throwing the whole cat into the fire!

The other megalomaniac, of course, is North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. Does this man believe his own publicity?

I checked a few internet facts that appear to contradict each other. One is that he never needs to use the loo. Another is that he carries his own personal toilet with him.

Does he truly believe he is an untouchable god? Does he believe he will survive if he triggers a nuclear holocaust?

Who knows?

The one thing you can say about the future is it is both horrifying and exciting – much like a large roller coaster ride but one you can’t get off!

I hope I have cheered to you up, but I fear this New Year’s message has fallen short of inspirational and hopeful.

So, let’s dwell on some positives:

I am 67 going on 68. For at least 57 going on 58 of those years I have been told that we are living on a nuclear stockpile and that the world was about to end.

My parents lived through a world war and my grandparents through two of them.

Men have been wandering around with placards advising us the end is nigh for more years than I can remember. If you read about the end of the world in the Bible you can find almost any sign you want to that the world is going to end tomorrow.

We have faced as many end times as we have tomorrows and each time the end time has come and gone and tomorrow has come and gone.

Flowers will bloom again this spring and summer, children will be born, medical science will discover new cures for new diseases and around the world people will be touched by random acts of kindness.

There may be terrorist attacks and racism and hatred but there will also be love and kindness and friendship that does not recognise colour or creed.

In other words, 2018 will be, I hope, the same as 2017. There will be the bad and the good. All that remains is for me to hope that each one of our readers experience more of the good than the bad and, despite it all, I do wish you all a very happy new year.