I don't know what it says about me but the two magazines I subscribe to are Viz and The Economist. Each welcome the new year in their own distinctive way.

The cover of The Economist's The World Ahead 2024 shows a shadow in the shape of Donald Trump looming over the globe, cheerfully describing his potential re-election as 'the biggest danger to the world in 2024.'

Viz, meanwhile, offers up an advert for a spoof theme park, Januaryland, where you can 'enjoy the misery of the year's most depressing month any time'.

Salisbury Journal: Flooding at Milford. Picture by Spencer MulhollandFlooding at Milford. Picture by Spencer Mulholland

State-of-the-artState of the art shutters 'ensure that it's dark by half past three', with features including waiting for a bus in the sleet and enjoying a warming cup of Lemsip.

Given all that, the greeting 'happy new year' can feel ironic at best. Certainly, with Storm Henk (Henk?) blowing away outside as I write, and with today's (Tuesday's) Wordle turning out to be aging, just to rub in another year having gone by, there are plenty of reasons to be less than cheerful.

Add in back to work, Blue Monday and tax returns for us self-employed, and January can feel hardly full of joy.

And yet, despite all of this, I must secretly confess to quite liking January. Fun as the festive season is, I suspect I'm not the only one who quite likes taking the decorations down and home returning to a clean and clutter-free state.

And while I also enjoy, possibly too much, indulging in Christmas food and drink, I also like the new year's abstemiousness, feeling good for a few weeks off the booze, eating healthily and doing some exercise to burn off those Christmas pounds.

January, too, is a time for resolutions, one of those hope over experience activities that so many of us seem to succumb to on a regular basis.

The concept of new year's resolutions, according to a recent article in The Times can be traced as far back as Babylon and Ancient Rome.

In this country, they have been a feature since the 1750s, when Britain switched to the Gregorian calendar (before this, new year landed, somewhat randomly, on 25 March).

I'm sure I'm not alone in regularly making all sorts of bold plans for year ahead, before regularly coming up short.

Yet despite those annual failures, most of us continue to do so. Why? It would be easy, given past evidence, not to bother. But the fact that those resolutions keep coming says something about who we are as people: a hope that this year things can be different, and we can be better versions of ourselves.

Long may that little bit of hope live on. Happy new year!