|A rain shower just passes at sunset over the fields in West Hull. The bath to the right is for the horses to drink from|
I hope you are getting used to the weather if you are in the UK, some regular ground frosts now appearing and icy windscreens to clear in a morning. On the flip side, it's certainly invigorating to go for a walk in this wintry sunshine.
There have been some interesting developments locally in so far as the neighbouring town of Kingston upon Hull is concerned, it's been chosen as the City of Culture 2017.
I am absolutely delighted for the city. The local use of social media to promote the City has been truly stunning when you look at the statistics compared to the other cities in the race.
There have been, and are, so many detractors, whingers, moaners, bad mouthing ignorant miserable... people (for want of a better word) who delight in their own negativity.
And yet, they are so short sighted not to realise that the city is now going to start to develop a better feeling about itself and whilst Government does not put any cash into the initiative, inward investment and benefits through additional visitors and publicity through events for example will make the city feel much better about itself and enable it to lift itself out of the doldrums. Jobs and cash will come as a result.
Someone said Hull is a city, "coming out of the darkness," and that is possibly true. I would rather like to think it's been in a bit of a twilight. There are so many positives and yet so many negatives which has created that sense of stalemate for so long. I'm not going to make a case for the positives the city has nor discuss the negatives because no city is perfect, balanced and wholly positive.
None the less - there is an opportunity now to move forward with grace and dignity and with a positive frame of mind.
The armchair critics who sit on their backsides and moan all day long and use the anonymity of the net to be destructive either need to put up or shut up now. Contribute or bugger off, I don't want to hear you any more. Use your freedom of speech to talk to the mirror - you just love to hear yourself speak.
The City Council, in dire difficulties due to Government cuts in public spending now needs to be supportive and innovative to encourage its citizenry and visitors to make 2017 and the run up to it something to remember and leave a positive lasting legacy to move this city finally into the 21st century.
Over the few years I've been doing this blog, you will have hopefully seen some sense of balance about the place near where I live and where I have worked all my adult life barring four years. It is both an interesting place to live, work and to spend leisure time and it's been an interesting journey watching it slowly and painfully rise out of the rubble of the second World War.
When I started to work in the city in 1973, there were still bomb damaged building sites and gaps in streets where houses had been demolished. No more thank goodness. The strides forward made have been tremendous, but now the time has come to press the accelerator firmly to the floor and drive us all, neighbours, inhabitants and visitors toward greater things. Time and tide waits for no-man, start working at making life better for this wonderful old city now or miss the boat for ever.