It’s a new decade. It’s a new year. Time to look forward. Time to look back.

In today’s paper there was an article about how life had improved over the last ten years, although smart motorways and Alexa would not have found a place on my list of life enhancing developments.

Looking forward, there was significant coverage of Australia’s portentous bush fires and the utter failure of the current administration to face up to the underlying causes.

No mention of the SNP (presumably recovering from their Hogmonay revels) although, curiously, the Oxford Mail, had a letter about the prospects of Northern Ireland becoming part of the Republic. The future of the UK is shaping up to be the next big time consuming domestic issue.

There was also a collection of statistics about how life in the UK had changed since 2010. They weren’t particularly well presented statistics, but the one that really caught my eye was the one accompanied by a headline about life expectancy having begun to fall …