A new year message from John Randall, Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
I WILL readily admit to always looking forward to Christmas. That is almost certainly because of the great good fortune of having been born into a very happy family.
I am sure that my children share that feeling too, and these days it allows us all to get together and enjoy traditions that we have established over the years.
Even though this year I will miss my mother, who sadly died earlier in the year, I will have such happy memories that the sadness will be lessened.
Of course we all know that for many it is a very difficult time, where the loneliness, illness or general hard times of the year is just accentuated. There is a real opportunity for each of us to do something to help less fortunate friends and neighbours.
However, I always have mixed views about New Year’s Eve. Sometimes I might be pleased to see the back of the old year and hope for a better one ahead. In other years I am more apprehensive about what the coming year will bring.
This year has taught me that time cannot stand still. Yes it would be wonderful to freeze time at the point that everything was best in life.
We have to accept that nothing is forever but that doesn’t mean that we should feel less positive about things. Looking back at 2012 I think I have had some real inspiration.
I enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of the Diamond Jubilee as well as that great feeling of the nation getting together, despite the weather.
Almost straight afterwards we had the Olympics and the torch passing through the borough was a real experience of a lifetime for us all.
However it was probably the Paralympics that really excited me. Even without our own local Paralympians, it was a fantastic occasion but they really made me feel a part of it.
But it was seeing people who had decided to take a really positive attitude and to succeed and achieve that really impressed me. It is a feeling that has stayed with me long after the summer.
I wish we could bottle up the atmosphere and, of course, the attitude of all the wonderful volunteers.
So as I look ahead to 2013, I am hoping that despite the continuing problems facing the nation we can all be really positive and be determined to face up to them with renewed optimism.
Finally I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Gazette readers and indeed all fellow residents in the London Borough of Hillingdon a very happy, healthy, peaceful and positive New Year.