After a year to forget, it’s time to count our blessings and cherish our capacity to keep going

MUCH-MISSED: Trouper Bruce Forsyth. Picture: IAN WEST

MUCH-MISSED: Trouper Bruce Forsyth. Picture: IAN WEST - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

I don't know anyone who thinks 2017 has been a good year but it depends how you look at it, I suppose.

It has been the year of Article 50, which, for me, is a tragedy, but which, for the man I was talking to while I was buying a Brexit loo roll for a friend in Hawkins Bazaar the other day, was a reason to move back to the UK.

'We're free of Europe at last!' he said, which seemed a bit premature if you ask me, but he had gone on for 20 minutes already without me opening my mouth, so I decided to let it lie.

This was also the year of course when Donald Trump was inaugurated as the United States' most ludicrous and embarrassing president (to my mind) but of course over 50 million Americans were apparently delighted by this, so who am I to have a brain?

We have also seen the Manchester and London Bridge bombings and the Grenfell Tower tragedy, none of which can be viewed in any other way than horror, but, that said, the coming together of communities and the moving One Love Manchester concert showed that out of tragedy the human spirit will always rise again.

It's just a shame that it keeps having to, though, isn't it?

Meanwhile, it may have passed you by that measles was declared eradicated in the UK in 2017, surely a good thing for all, while the collapse of Monarch Airlines was pretty drastic for anyone trying to fly out or get home, but a slight boost to all those who, like me, could only afford a staycation this year.

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Theresa May remained Prime Minister, which many felt to be a bad thing, until they started considering the alternatives.

And Prince Harry is getting married to Meghan 'adds a bit of sparkle' Markle, giving us all a Royal Wedding to look forward to – those of us who have no interest in watching an FA Cup Final, anyway. (No-one can say the Royals are out of touch. Well, they can, but what will it achieve?)

In other Royal news, the Duchess of Cambridge is having yet another baby (she has to do something), while the Queen and Prince Philip have celebrated 70 years of marriage.

This isn't good news for any of us really, but it feels like it, doesn't it? And we haven't exactly been spoilt for choice on the good news front this year, so we'll take what we can.

It's also been the year of The Handmaid's Tale (blessed be), The Crown (yet more Royal distractions, but what else are they there for?) and Stranger Things (loved by all who grew up in the '80s and now realise how lucky we were).

And at the cinema, the world was definitely improved by the heart-stopping Dunkirk, the inspirational Hidden Figures and the hilarious Paddington 2. We've said goodbye to Graham Taylor and Ugo Ehiogu and Brucie and Brian Cant and Peter Sallis and Tara Palmer Tompkinson and Sir John Hurt and Sir Roger Moore.

Max Clifford also died.

While Harvey Weinstein's fall from grace inspired thousands of women to speak out about sexual abuse in the #metoo campaign.

The Oscars will be interesting next year.

The tedious thank yous will certainly be shorter, anyhow.

Personally, 2017, like most years, has had me in the depths of despair and the heights of joy, but now, at the end of it, all I can think of are the new friends I have made, and the one I lost.

But that's life, isn't it?

It all comes down to the personal little victories and battles and the people we love.

And the good always comes out strongest.

Without fail.

Happy Christmas and a very happy 2018 to all.