Year of the person

Thursday 29th December 2011

KATE Middleton, Pippa Middleton, Tariq Jahan, Steve Jobs, Gabrielle Giffords, David Cameron, Tom Watson, Amy Winehouse, The Protestor, Aliaa Elmahdy, Bradley Manning, Mark Cavendish or Tian Tian?

Take your pick. The latter is a panda and the controversial December choice by the BBC as one of its ‘Faces of the Year 2011’, in the Women category. It’s also a Chinese take-away in Luton.

Here are my nominations, one per month. None are rich, famous or likely to be featured in the traditional lists, but all are very special:

1. The Wiltshire headteacher who trusted us to host a madcap evening event, where a hundred Year 7 scholars performed their poetry to a packed audience of parents.

2. Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries, whose long and assiduous campaign against service cuts led to a victory in the High Court.

3. Those willing to go to London to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with government policies.

4. The allegedly ‘difficult’ teenagers who took part in a Play-in-a-Day project at the Oxford Playhouse and created some great moments of theatre.

5. The kitchen staff on a Channel Islands ferry, for good humour and quality service.

6. My niece, her husband and all family members, for making the wedding of the year such a wonderful occasion.

7. Young friends from northern Europe, for friendship, quality cuisine and their remarkable tolerance of all that is embarrassing about this country.

8. A close family friend, for three days of adventures on sandy beaches – with thanks too to the planet for such good weather!

9. The lively and creative folk who came on one of our residential writing weekends in Wales.

10. The Occupy movement, for re-kindling within me a hope that the world may eventually become a better place: one where greed and corruption will no longer be ignored.

11. The staff, patients and visitors at Berkeley Hospital, for their stories, kindness and generosity.

12. My daughters and granddaughters, for love, laughter and all the very best things in life.

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