OPINION: Australia still our lovely country
WHILE 2014 was not the best year for our lovely country, with many an event to give us concern for our safety and many more rumours of possible events to frighten us ... I reckon it's still good here.
So instead of pledging any unrealistic New Year's resolutions, I've penned a small list of things I feel good about; reasons to reinforce how fortunate I am to live here.
I'm sure you can add to the list.
We can turn on a tap and know we will have clean water (albeit expensive clean water, but let's not ponder that one).
Our children can go to school, certain no other student will have a gun.
It is almost a certainty our home won't be blown up by the time we get home from work tonight.
Our hospitals have supplies of stuff to keep us alive should, God forbid, we have need.
What little money we might have in the bank, is safe there.
Tony Abbott is many things, but he is not a cruel despot.
We can flush a toilet with happy abandon as often as we like.
We can say what we like about Tony Abbott and the Government without fear of being dragged off to jail and tortured.
Our supermarket shelves are always well-stocked.
We have no gulags in our big country.
Most of us go to bed each night with a full belly.
We do not have to trek 10 kilometres a day to buy a few miserable provisions.
Bert Newton keeps on going and can still make us laugh.
We don't have to cook over a puny kerosene stove in a makeshift tent.
It is unlikely a mob of crazed religious fanatics will roar into our towns with armoured tanks and evil intent.
We are as happy when a baby girl is born as we are with a boy.
We will never know the agony of being forced to flee our beloved country with nothing but a few belongings.
We have green spaces and parks and dramatic oceans and pristine beaches.
Our children can all receive an education.
And ... best of all ... there is always a bottle of decent Aussie wine at a reasonable price, down the road at our local liquor store.