It's our first issue of the New Year, so allow me to offer the customary greeting and wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope you enjoyed a profitable and relaxing festive period some of you may even have had a day off!
The first few weeks of a new year are always interesting. Resolutions will be being made, implemented and abandoned, while words such as "de-tox", "green tea" and "herbal vitamin supplement pills" are bandied around like talismans by those desperate to make amends for Christmas excess.
Of course, with all the negative publicity attached to meat-eating over the last year, we are all hoping the UK consumer does not all convert to vegetarianism en masse. Having said that, a guerilla campaign of piping the smell of frying bacon into densely populated areas would soon put paid to that one. Perhaps we should start a fighting fund.
I have resolved to make no resolutions myself, although I am aware of the irony of resolving not to resolve even if my wife has other ideas about that.
New Year predictions are always a dangerous game, so I'll resist the temptation to guess the future, but looking at the front pages of this edition, and the one from 12 months back, it's clear that we've still got quite some way to go before we finally resolve the issues surrounding meat inspection. Let's hope that, this time next year, the front pages will be dominated by more positive news.
However, one encouraging news item has come out of Wales, with government figures pointing to a recovery in the numbers of sheep, cattle and pigs throughout the country. Considering the amount of talk about declining livestock figures, stories like this should be celebrated. I only hope that such a recovery is not just confined to Wales and we see similar news from across the whole of the UK.
In the meantime, I'll leave you all to get back to feeling guilty about those broken resolutions.
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