There’s been a lot of bad news around. It’s the time of year for it.
Seems like the doom and the gloom starts every year around the time the clocks go back – or when the heating goes on for the first time.
This is the time of year when the energy companies put their prices up, when big businesses announce their results and, as we’ve been finding out, redundancies are invariably announced, just in time to be a Christmas gift.
During the past week or two we’ve been told about more than 1,000 jobs going in Portsmouth, Hythe and Fareham.
Southampton Airport’s biggest customer, Flybe, is also cutting back.
And on top of that we’re being told our energy bills will be going up every January for the next 17 years to pay for infrastructure projects, whatever they are.
It’s enough to make me want to take to my bed with a hot water bottle, a weighty novel and an alarm clock set firmly to five past springtime.
Hibernation, however, doesn’t appear to be an option, no matter how long I grow my hair and how loudly I growl in the morning.
There’s only one thing left to do, really, and that’s to pick ourselves up, strap ourselves into our thermals and get on with the job of living.
Probably we should spend some time making sure our nearest and dearest are also doing okay as the temperatures fall towards the chilly part of the thermometer.
And for those who are perhaps facing an uncertain Christmas, with job losses meeting spiralling costs of living head on, we should be making an extra effort to help.
Because there’s one thing that has also struck me about this place in which we live over the past two weeks – wait, I’ve really known it for the last 33 and three-quarter years – and that’s how we’re pretty good at looking after our own.
The banks might be saying the economy’s recovery is on firmer ground, but we’ve been burned by them before.
We know what and who we can rely on: and that’s each other, hot chocolate, and thermal socks. Happiness begins with warm toes.