A new year of uncertainty

This has been a year that will stand out for many of us as 'the year that...' The year that Britain voted for Brexit. The year that America voted for Trump. The year that ended with floods on the Spanish Costas. And the year that Bowie died. The latter would have been enough in itself, but unfortunately the celebrity death category has grown beyond belief.

So with just two days left of 2016, many of us are looking at 2017 with the sense that a page is turning, and not just on a calendar.

British residents in Spain and in other EU countries are concerned about possible changes to rights and status once Brexit comes about. We know this is unlikely to happen in 2017, but the change in year shows that it is one step closer.

The effects of Trump's presidency may be more immediate and for some adds extra insecurity to the current international scenario.

As many point out, nothing has changed really for us; in fact here on the Costa del Sol the sun is still shining, tourism is booming and employment is rising (albeit of the precarious kind). However events of the last year seem to have shaken something up, enhancing a sense that nothing lasts forever.

While the earthquake felt last January caused little material damage, that sensation of the ground moving beneath our feet reminded us that nothing is as solid as we thought. The floods earlier this month showed us that a life's possessions can be washed away in seconds.

And what has made us feel even more shaky is the apparently endless string of breaking news alerts, each one starting with a name and ending with the words "has died". Among those names were icons many of us grew up with: TV presenters who marked our childhood, pop stars whose faces covered our walls and actors whose performances made us laugh and cry.

Nothing lasts forever, we know, but so many upsets in one year push us into 2017 with the feeling that we've reached an inflection point. What next?