HAPPY New Year. We are in January now, the month named after the Roman God Janus, deity of endings and beginnings.

Janus had two faces: one looking back and one looking forward. I guess we do tend to do this a bit at this time of the year.

Have you made any resolutions?  Have you thought about what you failed to do last year and what you’re determined to get right this year? I just love an optimist!

But what is this happiness we write about on ‘Happy New Year’ cards and is it supposed to keep us content?  

One dictionary defines happiness as ‘a state of contentment, carefreeness or enjoyment’.

Don’t we wish that for everyone, all the time?

Another take on ‘happy’ is ‘having a sense of trust and confidence in a person or a situation’. Might I suggest that if we rely on the performance of other people to make us happy, we are already up to our nostrils in the foul-smelling brown stuff.

But that is exactly where we find ourselves, folks.

We live in a western democracy, and we place our trust and confidence in our elected members to create a situation where we feel content and can enjoy our local environment.

We trust them with the education of our children, with our health services, with security, and to provide a clean environment which we can show off to our family and friends with pride.

It states quite clearly on the label that I am working with Angel Nozal and the Partido Popular in Mijas towards the 2019 elections.

But when I put on my Janus face and look back over the year, I cannot honestly say that I like what I have seen: poor management of our money; bottom of the league table in transparency; endless complaints about cleanliness in public areas; and a rising crime rate.

So, what about the forward-looking face? It’s a pre-election year, and I expect things will improve just a little.

Politicians rely on people having short memories! What will make me happy is if I can get expats a lot more involved so they feel pride in their community, instead of hoping others will make things better.

For Brexit and for Mijas, get onto the Town Hall Register, and onto the Voters’ Roll.

Meanwhile, I would like to wish a Happy 2018 to you and yours. Take control, and don’t rely on others for your happiness!