What a sad, strange, stressful year it's been.

It started with rejoicing: "Brexit's got done!"

By February, the news from abroad looked grim - an acquaintance caught Covid through travelling, a family friend died after a holiday.

The disease had been around for months - the clue was in the title: Covid (20)19.

In March: an overdue lockdown. Through the spring, summer and autumn: months of bluster, blather and late reaction.

We all stood on doorsteps, cheering for our doctors and nurses but where were their masks and gowns? Captain Tom came to the rescue!

Are there enough zimmer frames to raise the future millions needed?

Hasn't it been confusing? Pubs were sometimes open - but churches were closed.

Estate agents were welcome to our homes - but not our families.

Nail bars were safe to practice - but not therapists.

A big conflict appeared between health necessities and our government's concern for revenue.

Life has been far from normal, why try to make it appear so?

'Herd-immunity' was a dangerous idea but maybe we have (most of us) developed 'herd-wisdom'.

Dominic Cummings has, thankfully, left - at least Barnard Castle is famous. Trump too has been kicked out - hooray!

Sadly, heroes have left us - doctors, nurses, many grandparents in care homes and hospitals, Vera Lynn, James Bond and Pussy Galore (Sean Connery and Honor Blackman) are no longer here to save us.

Children now at school will be our future teachers, doctors, scientists and better leaders

Well, Brexit still isn't really done but 2021 has got to be a better year!