Two thousand and eighteen has a nice ring to it; let's hope it's a good sign and the new year brings us all joy and wonder in equal measure. As is the custom at this time, I thought I'd offer some predictions for the next twelve months.
In the world of politics, Donald Trump will continue to approach the delicate nuances of international diplomacy using the tried and trusted bull/china shop technique favoured also by Boris Johnson. People who may or may not be wearing home-made pink hats by this point will look on aghast, either whimpering or screeching - depending on their lifestyle choices - 'I literally can't believe this is literally happening! Literally!' Then they'll all go home.
The Brexit process will grind on as excruciatingly as Manchester United's footballing development - ostensibly making progress but not offering any tangible or worthwhile results. The faces of Theresa May and Jose Mourinho will sport identical bewildered-yet-doggedly-determined expressions until they're eventually sacked or, alternatively, keel over in a heap calling out for their mothers.
Talking of sport, cyclists will continue to go about their business with little clouds of suspicion hanging over their heads like those sad people in the old cartoons used to have hovering just above them. Footballers will show all the grace and charm we've come to expect, wear the word 'respect' on their shirts while showing none to anybody including themselves and point to the skies after scoring a goal, presumably confusing 'heaven' with 'haven' in a botched attempt to show their accountants where to send the old spondulicks. England will flatter to deceive at the world cup and lose in the last sixteen.
As far as social media is concerned, echo chambers will become ever more prevalent as people continue to unfriend anyone who says anything remotely out of kilter with regard to their narrow world view. This means that by the end of the year only those who like the same foodstuffs will remain virtually connected and TwitFace will consist solely of pictures of the same six dishes being interchanged between friends, each sect unaware that that are five other plates of food doing the rounds among groups of people they'll never come across unless they bump cars in a supermarket car park somewhere.
Finally, in music, Ed Sheeran will hold the top one hundred chart spots for the next twelve months and beyond, continuing to delight us with tales of how his bed sheets smell and dueting with anyone whose flagging career needs a bit of a boost - so, be sure to look out for ear-pleasing Trump, May and Mourinho collaborations from the ginger warblemeister in 2018.
A very happy new year to you all.