Despite my non stop whinging and moaning on this blog, I know that I am a very lucky man. Yes, my life has often been ravaged by mental illness and, yes, I have missed out on a lot in life because of my upbringing but it mostly worked out all right in the end. I have a wonderful partner who has been with me, for reasons best known to herself, for some 28 years, two amazing boys who continue to set education standards I never came close to, two wonderful brothers who live in Canada and I even gained a stepmother thanks to my late father’s good taste in lovely people.

I always tell people who have bad things happening in their lives to not simply say “there are others who have much worse lives than I do”. That is to ignore one’s own problems which will not go away just because someone somewhere is worse off. By all means have a sense of perspective but your problems are your problems and they will not go away just because things could be worse.

For once, I did manage to look around our dysfunctional world and think about others and, like many of you, did something about it. Not a lot but much more than I had done in the past. I have friends who helped the lonely, others who helped feed the homeless and still more who were out there available to save lives. That doesn’t even include the magnificent emergency workers who were out there when we were stuffing our faces with industrial-sized portions of grub. There were many of them. For every miserable politician whining about how he didn’t get a knighthood for services to setting fire to the country – Farage – there were many more decent folk making people’s lives better, or at least not so bad.

I know that one day for me, for everyone else, it will all be over, that one day I will be nothing more than a photograph on the mantlepiece, so I am determined to do the best I can during however much time I have left. I 2018, I hope to put behind the bullying and abuse I was subject to when employed at one of the world’s most well known charities and concentrate on other things, with people of compassion and vision whose aim is to help people and not place their emphasis on internal targets and process.

Yes, I am a lucky man. I’m with my family again today and I never thought once about being somewhere else, at a minor football match many miles away, for example. The football club will probably be there long after I’ve gone, the pub will still be open tomorrow, life is too short and getting shorter every day. The only things that really matter are my family and friends. The day that ceases to be should be the day you die.