It’s great to see the new year in with really close friends. We did some proper good partying on the Isle of White this year: We’re a group five families in all. We meet a couple of times a year and it’s been something quite special . Already looking forward to our next scheduled gathering for our annual camping expedition in the early summer.  I’m sure that all adults and kids will share wonderful hazy memories of these fabulous social occasions for the rest of our lives.  Conscious that we must enjoy what we have now, while we can, as the future is becoming more uncertain.

Been  having a lot of fun messing about with a drone this month.  I took it out for it’s maiden flight on the new year trip to the Isle of White.   What an incredible piece of kit?  The technology packaged up into this product is just mind blowing. The drone needs a blog entry all of it’s own (noted).  There’s been a lot of news about some numpties repeatedly flying a drone across Gatwick Airport at the beginning of the month and ruining people’s holidays.  Regulations will be tightened up as a consequence.

The Molloy family has stepped up practice sessions and the indoor Snow-Centre in Hemel Hemstead this month.  What a facility.  So much better to practice on real snow rather than the plastic slopes we are more used-to  in the UK.

The British political system remains in turmoil this month which is both astonishing and saddening. I wonder how we will view this moment in history when we look back on it in years to come?   Will we remember how hugely complicated and chaotic the situation seems to be, and how the uncertainty is adversely affecting the mood of our nation?

Monarch Airlines went into receivership this month shortly followed by Patisserie Valerie. I feel a connection point with Monarch as my first trip abroad on a passenger jet was with Monarch. It was my fourth trip up in a plane and only the first time I’d landed back on terra firma to disembark in a conventional way.  Every other time I’d flown  I’d used a parachute during the exit procedure (for fun of course).

It’s been widely reported this month that investment in the British car industry fell by 46.5% in 2018 as a result of Brexit uncertainty. While we’re on this thread, it’s worth noting for the blog how dire things are on the high street at the moment.  House of Fraser and Poundworld folded last summer along with Maplin and Toys R Us earlier in the year. It looks like Debenhams, Mothercare and Carpetright are heading the same way in the next few weeks. LK Bennet, New Look, Jamie’s Italian, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Carluccio’s and Prezzo are all really struggling and we shouldn’t be surprised if none of them make it through this awful down-turn. This is the mood music for the British economy at the start of 2019.

Sky are extending my contract for a couple of months. I’m moving across from the super cool and funky head office at Sky 1, to Sky Studios which reminds me of the old broadcast days where there seems to be 101 things occurring simultaneously, all at full speed, and all good fun.  Plenty of ventures fail but many more succeed and the momentum is onwards and upwards.  Love it.  I know it will come to an end soon as I’m working in an area needs requires big investment (unlikely this year) but I’m enjoying it while it lasts.