Let's hope that in retrospect 2021 will be the year we bounced back

Pedalos Goodrington beach near Paignton with huts on a summer morning in colourful HDR

Goodrington beach, Paignton - 2020 was the year people all over the country discovered they can have a great holiday in the UK - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The best piece of medical equipment in the retrospectoscope, a mythical machine which tells us what we should have done in retrospect.  

A year ago, I thought that tourists, especially from China, were a bit 'neurotic' when wearing masks. In retrospect they were right. 

Whenever I sung Happy Birthday I only sung it once which was a relief to anyone nearby.

I had never heard the word 'furloughed' and had never heard of Zoom.

I also knew that any potential vaccine needed about ten years to develop. 

I had vaguely heard of an obscure virus in China but it was not going to affect us.  

2020 also saw the launch of Torbay Weekly. A year ago I never imagined that I would get back to writing a column.

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I also discovered that there are some beautiful walks from my house which I should have discovered earlier. When I was busy with a young family working all hours I did not explore the area.  

In retrospect throughout history there seems to be a recurring problem 20 years into every new century. 

In 1020, King Canute was King of England, Denmark and Norway. He is still remembered for being misrepresented. To prove that he was not all powerful he showed that he could not control the tide.

Today, he is remembered as someone so stupid and arrogant that he thought he could control the tide, the exact opposite of what he was trying to prove. 

So, if a modern politician is upset about being misrepresented think of poor King Canute; misrepresented for 1,000 years. 

Six hundred years later in 1620 a group of obscure religious zealots sailed from Plymouth to set up a colony in the New World. At the time few people took any notice. Today they are famous as the Pilgrim fathers. 

In retrospect they are now seen as the founders of the USA.  

And 100 years after the Pilgrim fathers, in 1720, came the South Sea Bubble. Shares in the South Sea Company shot up after the government promised five per cent interest in return for underwriting the national debt. 

Today, I’m not sure the market would believe any company whose business plan included underwriting the National Debt.   

Suddenly stock market investments appeared to be a way to make easy money. 

In the rush to invest other bizarre companies set up including one 'for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage but no one knows what it is' which attracted £2,000. There was corruption, bribery and insider dealing before shares collapsed and many people faced severe financial problems. 

In retrospect there is no such thing as easy money. 

Three hundred years later no one would invest in any dodgy company or consider insider dealing.

In 1920, an obscure right wing political party in Germany changed its name to the National Socialist German Worker’s Party or Nazis for short. Obviously only a minor story for the geekiest follower of overseas political news. It is easy to see the hideous dangers in retrospect.   

Some 'naturally inspiring' things came from 2020. 

People came together, we saw the amazing work of the NHS, carers, teachers and all the others on the front line.

New hotels are going up across the Bay just as people all over the country are learning that they can have a great holiday in the UK. 

It is even looking good for Torquay United as we go into the new year.  

As we roll out the vaccine let’s hope that in retrospect 2021 will be seen as the year that our hard-hit hospitality industry bounced back and Torquay United were promoted back into the football league.  

As the Niles Bohr, the winner of the Nobel prize in 1922 and one of the founders of nuclear physics said: "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”