It’s not been the best of years so far, dawning as it has with no sign of respite from the economic gloom which is now feeling like an inevitable feature of daily life.
So, as the warm suns of spring approach, the time is ripe for a little enjoyment.
Such an opportunity presents itself with the impending Royal wedding.
The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton is a cause for celebration, not just in honour of their nuptials but in exaltation of all that is good about life in Britain.
And whatever our woes, we still have a spirited sense of community.
Some might say that it’s not so strong as the days when hardly anyone moved away from the area in which they were born and just about everyone left their door open for neighbours to pop in for a chat and a good old cup of tea.
Actually, our ability – and our social need – to gather for a good time remains undiminished, even though nowadays we perhaps feel we need more of a reason to do so.
No better reason, we say, than the marriage of William and Kate on April 29.
Portsmouth City Council recognises that as well, having commendably pledged £10,000 for road signs and insurance which would otherwise have to be met by the organisers of street parties, of which we hope there will be many.
The council has budgeted for residents in up to 50 streets in the city applying to hold events on the Royal couple’s big day, the figure based on the number of parties held in celebration of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.
Already, people in 12 roads have made enquiries and we expect that figure to rise sharply now that the council has pledged the £10,000 to underwrite costs.
Borough councils in Havant, Gosport and Fareham councils have not yet finalised their policies and we hope that they will soon do so, pending advice from Hampshire County Council on its road closure and insurance requirements.
This is a good time to find an excuse for parties that will strengthen the community bonds we already enjoy.