So the year 2012 begins in 24 Hours. This is the last day of 2011. And by common consent, a very bad year. I have attended NINE funerals this year,including two in my extended family and the funeral of James Kelly, the journalist who died at the age of ONE HUNDRED. A friend of my late father, Jimmy Kelly’s passing went unreported on the alleged leading Norn Iron website………which managed to recognise the passing of other journalists not fit to lace Jimmy’s shoes. Perhaps Jimmy just wasn’t accepted in the wider freemasonry of journalism.
Yet economically it has been a bad year. People are actually more depressed than I can recall. Or maybe I have forgotten the darkest years of The Troubles in the 1970s when just surviving seemed like an achievement.
So in 2012 begins in 24 Hours. And in a few weeks it will be the Year of the Dragon……as it was in 1952, when I was born. So incredibly my seventh decade will begin in May. SEVEN DECADES!!!! Even a Rosary only has five decades.
Yet the Good News (and I bet it will be subject to Budgetary Cuts) is…….that I qualify for a Bus Pass in 130 Days. This means I will be able to travel thru-out Norn Iron on a bus or train. I dont even have to tell the driver where I am going. Just scan my card and I can travel to anywhere (within Norn Iron) for FREE. So on a good day in sunny June or sunnier July, I can go to a beach in Bangor, County Down or Portrush, County Antrim or Portstewart, County Derry. All for Free. FREE.