2006 has been pretty good to me. I've been involved in some great writing projects, some interesting art projects and (finally), after more than 30 years of writing songs, I've got into a recording studio to start making an album. Okay, so Huw - the guy I write songs with - and I may end up owning the only two copies ... but it's the sense of achievement that matters; the fulfilling of a lifelong ambition. I've met some people who are immensely inspirational including the great Ray Harryhausen, toy designer James Jarvis and film director Kevin Smith. And I've added another grandchild to my family. So, as I say, all in all, a pretty good year.
I hope that 2007 will be equally lovely. To start with, I'm going to teach myself to paint. Properly. I've made an early start on (what will be) my first painting in 35 years. You see, I've been doing colour illustrations up to now; watercolour, ink or gouache pieces that usually involve some pen work. I've not been painting in the true sense. But now I am and I'll be posting my progress on this blog.
But now ... just one small worry about 2007. While popping out for some groceries this morning I was struck by the contrast between two groups of people I saw. The first was at the supermarket where there was a queue at the recycling area. Yes, a queue. People were waiting in line to dispose of their Christmas excess in a responsible and eco-friendly manner. And all power to them. The second group I saw were standing around a trio of badly-parked, high-powered cars in the High Street. They were all either smoking or eating McDonald's. Most of the packaging lay around their feet on the pavement. And that's when it hit me ... just who exactly are we saving the planet for?
All of the recyclers were middle-aged people like myself. I recycle too. I buy organic fruit and veg and source my meat and eggs from local organic farms. We buy our gas and electricity from sustainable supplies. My wife and I drive environmentally friendly cars (were it not a necessity for work, we'd ditch them) and we take public transport whenever we can. We're no angels; we do have some bad habits and we don't attend environmental marches and rallies. We're just normal people doing our bit to help save the planet for our children ...
But sometimes I think 'Why bother?' They don't seem to give a rat's arse about it. Like the group I saw this morning, chucking their fast-food packaging around while their gas-guzzling cars belch more crap into our already fragile atmosphere ... why am I doing without certain luxuries just so that they will have a planet upon which to raise their burger-munching, lager-swilling, bus stop-wrecking, grafitti-spraying, fag-smoking Chavlings?
It sometimes seems to me that the goodies of this world are doing all the work while the baddies reap the benefits ... the David Attenboroughs saving the world for the Vicki Pollards to inherit and despoil.