2012 in Review

Well, just a few hours left until the end of 2012 in Britain.

The year began with me burying myself underneath a stack of past papers and in a collection of increasingly atrocious hoodies, and not emerging until finals were over in mid-March. I had in the meantime had a crash course in gynaecology and been present for the birth of a new baby, stuffed my brain full of all the medical knowledge that I should have been learning for five years in six weeks, and sat five exams, with my fair share of farces and disasters, before a week of blessed sleep and a return to the world as a not-quite-yet baby doctor. Just in time for Holy Week and Easter. I’ve waved goodbye to my flatmate and to our flat, and I’ve moved south of the Clyde where I became the pet human of two cats. At the end of June, I took an oath and became a proper and properly terrified baby doctor. I spent the summer attending the weddings of three sets of friends, scattered across the country and now very happy in the beginnings of their married lives. The second half of the year has been spent working as an F1 for the NHS in Scotland, getting to grips with my first job just in time to move onto my second one, freaking out about medical weekends, and being perpetually exhausted and loving it.

In Britain, we had the summer Olympics and Paralympics. I was glued to the BBC every minute I was at home in August, and the times I wasn’t relied on Twitter and the yells of my TV watching patients to keep me updated on the British medal tally. I cried on Super Saturday when Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, and Greg Rutherford made history inside Olympic Stadium and again that Sunday when Andy Murray won an Olympic gold and later an Olympic silver medal. When our time came, Britain, said Seb Coe, we did it right.

And just a few weeks after the flame had gone out, I high-fived one of those heroes and had my very own Olympic moment.

Those of us who work in the NHS applauded Danny Boyle’s glorious vision of it in the Opening Ceremony. We spent much of the year continuing to worry about what the Coalition government will do to our National Health Service and being flummoxed by the tabloid press’s ongoing attack on the LCP.

The battle for marriage equality has continued in Scotland, with the Scottish Government announcing that it would be seeking to legislate equal marriage by 2015. For those of us within the Church, the opt-in nature of the proposed legislation for religious bodies has been worded in such a way as to mean that the next year will be marked by the beginnings of talks about religious freedoms and weddings and Canons, with congregations and bishops and Synods. The parliament in Westminster has got going with its own equal marriage legislation, too, and I think that, in England, trouble will be made next year over the clause in their legislation that puts the established Church of England firmly outside of the equal marriage business. This issue, and the issues of bishops who happen to be women and of the disintegrating Anglican Covenant are likely to dominate the early part of Justin Welby’s ministry as Archbishop of Canterbury, which begins tomorrow.

Amy and Rory left the Doctor, Sherlock left John, and something happened in Middle Earth but I’m not sure what yet. And someone won the X-Factor. (Maybe?)

In the wider world, President Obama and the American Democrats maintained control of the White House, much to the relief of… well, everyone, I guess, and despite all the predictions and the best pollsters money can buy, it was an election that actually wasn’t that close, in the end. The last few hours of 2012 will show whether they can also maintain control of the economy and only time will tell the consequences if they can’t.

It has altogether been an extraordinary year. And in a couple of hours, we’ll raise a glass, join hands as we sing together the words of Robbie Burns, and look forward to all that 2013 will bring.

Happy New Year.

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