Happy New Year
If you're new to my blog thanks for checking me out. if you're a return visitor, thanks for the love. I hope you'll be sticking with me in 2014.
I'm now entering the 5th year of my career as a blogger. I admit I don't post as often as I used to, it's a case of life getting in the way.
My working life as been far more challenging and demanding in the last year and finding the time and energy to write in the evenings and weekends has been challenging.
In saying that - I'm still a writer and writing is part of who I am so I'll always find time to write a couple of posts each month.
Blogging is a big commitment and my advice to anyone thinking of starting a blog would be to find a subject you're passionate about. Something you what to share with others. This will give you the motivation to write.
Stay committed and don't get disheartened if you're not getting 10,000 hits a week after a month of blogging!
It takes time and effort to build an audience but with good content and using social media to spread the word, people will find you.
So what can we look forward to in 2014? Here's a few thoughts:
Can you believe the General election will be next year? We're moving into the end of the parliamentary cycle, with all parties conscious that what they say and do may impact on the election result.
Will the economy keep improving and will that be enough for the Tories to convince people that they deserve another term. Can the Lib Dems maintain their own levels of support. Or can Ed Milliband finally win over those voters who doubt he is a Prime Minister in waiting?
I have no idea who's likely to win the next election I'm not sure by the end of the year we'll be any closer to knowing.
The end of the UK?
Scottish Referendum this year. I think it will be a close result but I just can't see Scotland voting for full independence.
The United States
Obamacare comes into effect in the US as of yesterday and will extend medical for what's hoped is up to 7 million more people.
This could the defining policy of Obama's presidency. Watching events from my British/European standpoint, Obamacare seems an inherently good idea and I'm baffled by the hostility this legislation generates amongst Republicans an other right wingers.
I hope it's a success if not, the US mid term elections could be pretty brutal for Obama and the Democrats.
Will this conflict ever come to an end?
When the Arab Spring finally spread to Syria, I don't think many people held out much hope that the Assad regime would cling to power for very long.
But here we are 3 years later, with the civil war still going on and no signs of any side taking the upper hand. It's unlikely that the Government will be defeated, so it looks like at some point some sort of peace negotiations will have to take place around the table.
Hopefully that will come sooner rather than later.
A huge year for sport. We've got the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi. I read the other day that this is the most expensive Olympics in history.
President Putin has invested hugely in this project and similar to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it's seems more about Russia reminding the world what a major world power it is.
The sporting event I'm most looking forward to has to be the World Cup in Brazil. Perhaps because it's in Brazil it feels bit more exotic than previous World Cups. I think this summer's tournament could be special.
I'm predicting an all South American Final, the first one since 1950. Brazil v Argentina, I think Argentina could pull off a huge upset.