Count our blessings as a new year dawns

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Christmas is behind us and in a couple of days so too will be another year.

Christmas will have been many different things to many different people – for some it will have brought joy and happiness, while for others it will have been a time of sorrow, regret and misery.

And as 2011 dips below the horizon of time and a new year dawns, there will be the same feelings of joy, happiness, regret, misery and sorrow. Such is the way of things.

The past year has not been an easy one here in the Borders. Untimely deaths on the roads, in fires and by the hand of violence; jobs losses, pay freezes soaring fuel prices and bickering politicians and councillors.

But shouldn’t we count ourselves a wee bit fortunate when we look at what has happened across the world during the past 12 months?

Earthquakes and floods. And look too at countries where patriots were prepared to take up arms and lay down their lives to win back their country and, hopefully, freedom from evil and brutal tyrants.

And let us never forget our own heroes. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the deployment of our armed forces, young men and women have worn the badge of courage – and on far too many occasions came home in a coffin.

When the bells chime and glasses are raised, let us remember those who are worse off than us. The past year would be good for some and bad for others. The coming year will be good for some and bad for others. Tough times do lie ahead.

But the spirit of the Borderer will prevail and we will march into 2012 full of hope and a determination to make it a guid new year – all the way through and not just over a couple of days of celebration.