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Jack Averty: What delights and joy will 2018 bring

By Jack Averty | Weekend | Published:

If Christmas has lost its sparkle, then New Year’s is the bulb in the spare room that has been flickering for more than a decade.

Happy New Year – should we break with tradition?

We all know its broken and needs replacing, it’s just that it used to light up the room so well and we’re determined one day the switch will flick and that dingy room will be brighter than Blackpool on a Saturday night.

New Year’s used to be at the top of its game.

Anyone who wasn’t still in nappies can remember what they did on New Year’s Eve 1999 for the turn of the millennium. And anyone in their teenage years or older at the time will probably remember it as one of the best nights of their lives.

But it’s not 1999 anymore, and New Year has become one of the most tedious and overrated times of the year.

Most have slowly come to the realisation that going out and getting trollied is just expensive and boring, the allure of New Years’ has fallen by the wayside.

Even for the party animals who do want to go for a big night out, it now has to be planned meticulously with those £400 club tickets secured months in advance.

But as more people turn their backs on the familiar New Year’s drunken rampage, so emerged the new tradition of a nice slap-up meal and watching the fireworks on the Beeb at midnight – before rushing upstairs and desperately trying to fall asleep as quickly as possible.

But even that is becoming a drag now, with some nodding off by 10pm before we even hear a peep out of Jools Holland.

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New Year’s Eve has become such an average way to start the year, especially at a time when we really could have done with a nice boost to kick-start what is sure to be an *interesting* 2018 – as we wait to see what will fail more catastrophically: Brexit or the England football team.

But as the New Year’s bulb splutters its last rays of light, the multi-coloured LED of faith in humanity shines brighter than ever.

In case you missed what has already won story of the year for 2018, the residents of Bell End in Rowley Regis want the name changed as they feel it makes them a ‘laughing stock’ and leads to their kids being teased and bullied in school.

A petition was launched and everything was in place for the PC brigade to come marching through and scream human rights until the name was changed to something as dull as ‘Main Street’.

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Except that wasn’t what happened at all.

What we got what as an outpouring of support for the name to stay, mainly 1) because it’s unbelievably funny and 2) because why on earth should we change it?

People were so outraged at the proposal they even launched a counter petition demanding the name be kept. The petition arguing for Bell End got thousands of signatures, the one that wanted the name gone got dozens.

The widespread dismissal of the original petition and outpouring of support for Bell End has provided that feeling of hope that maybe everything isn’t lost.

Maybe people will suddenly wake up and realise how much of a disaster Brexit is going to be and call it off.

Maybe England will finally turn up for a major tournament (metaphorically, not literally) and make a deep run at the World Cup in Russia.

Heck, maybe even Donald Trump might finally be ousted as US president.

Bell End almost feels like a wastershed moment in some respects, it has taken our half empty glasses and made them half full.

Yeh so what the world is pretty pants and nuclear oblivion seems increasingly certain, but people are upset about having to live on a street called Bell End and that’s pretty bloody funny.

Maybe it is time to bin New Year off altogether and just replace it with a new annual event where everybody finds the best story of hope, the next Bell End, so we enter the new year with a cheeky smirk and a sense of optimism rather than that forlorn look and sense of dread.

A positive to scrapping traditional New Year celebrations would be finally binning off resolutions once and for all.

Us Brits love our tradition and stick with things far longer than we should, but even New Year’s resolutions are getting tiresome now.

There is only so many times you can tell everyone this will be the year you start your health kick before indulging in your favourite king size chocolate bar just weeks later.

New Year’s resolutions now are mainly just people spamming social media with ridiculous hashtags and their outrageous resolutions.

Quite frankly if you need an excuse like New Year to make a positive change in your life then chances are you aren’t going to stick to your resolutions anyway.

Why not, whenever you feel need to make a change or try something new, just go for it there and then?

Or if you’re still desperate to have resolutions then make them, keep them to yourself and give it your best shot to achieve them.

And so what if you don’t achieve them all, at least you’re not the kind of person that doesn’t find Bell End funny.

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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