Happy New Year to you all.

I suppose we’ll soon get used to saying ‘this year’ instead of ‘next’.

This morning, New Year’s Day, a friend came to visit. We were talking about something we were going to do ‘next year’ but we quickly reminded ourselves that it had been ‘this year’ for about 10 hours.

Can you remember 1999 and the tizzy the whole world got themselves into because soothsayers said turning into 2000 from the 1900’s was going to create a whole lot of problems for any organisation that used a computer system? Everything would go haywire?

Who was kidding who? It didn’t come to pass. The dial gently clicked over and behold it was the 21st century.

I was living in Los Angeles at that pivotal moment and instead of a night to remember with fireworks, champagne and general bonhomie, I remember it for quite the wrong reasons. I had been invited to a party by a person who had a pet python. He kept it in his living room in a big glass cage. That night he decided to feed it. I was horrified when he threw a live mouse in the cage. It ran around desperately trying to hide but of course, it didn’t have a chance. While the rest of the party celebrated (I couldn’t) ate dips and chips and other tit bits, this little squeaking creature was being swallowed whole.

Now it’s 2017. There are a lot of things going on in the world that gives us cause to worry reminding me of that big python and the little mouse.

An analogy is the situation between Russia and the USA - the expulsion of Russia’s diplomats. I sincerely hope this doesn’t become a very serious Tit for Tat with President Putin waiting for Donald Trump to be sworn in as the 45th US President before deciding how to deal with that slap in the face.

The US and Russia is each a big python – who will swallow who is debatable…and where is the mouse?

Angela Dold, Creative Writing