2013: By George it’s been a good year so far…

It was the Autumn Equinox on Sunday 22nd September. Which means the days are now shorter than the nights. A calendar landmark like that requires reflection. So, as everything goes red, gold and brown let’s look back on the summer of 2013 – a year that (despite the ominous number) hasn’t been at all unlucky for our little Island.  Call it a UK 2013 achievement stock-take if you will…

Chris Downer [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Following the huge success of  London 2012 the risk of a monumental anti-climax in 2013 weighed heavy on the nation. The glass half full brigade were banging the ‘it’ll-never-be-so-good-again’ gong – but (somewhat uncharacteristically) buoyed on by 2012’s wave of success and new-found national confidence – Britain has stayed on a roll. In fact we’ve had a bumper year and there’s a plenty to celebrate as we head into the Autumn.

The arrival of baby called George in July sent us into a frenzy. We have a new future King and for the first time in 119 years there are three direct heirs to the monarchy alive at the same time. But the really big news – in our increasingly fair and tolerant Society – was that had George been Georgina, then she too would have been equally in line to for the top job.

In politics and economics a different George (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) announced that Britain had ‘turned a corner’ and our economy is ‘healing’. That’s a claim backed up by all sorts of markets – including that of our second biggest domestic purchase – Motorcars. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported that sales in 2013 are up a healthy 10.9% on 2012 – and that the humble Ford Fiesta is the number one seller with a staggering 72,169 new owners!

Democracy won out in August when a commons vote defeated a Government backed Bill paving the way for military intervention in Syria. Hailed as a seminal moment when democracy worked, it was a decision that reflected the post Iraq and Afghanistan sentiment for most of the country. It wasn’t just important here in the UK either – it began a snowball of more considered approaches from the G8 countries and wider global community.

It was in sport where GB really stayed on the pace.  We beat old adversaries Australia comprehensively – in both Rugby Union with the British and Irish Lions and Test Cricket – as England retained the Ashes.

Cueing in more Mobot antics, Mo Farah became a double World Athletics Champion in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, whilst in Tennis Andy Murray outplayed world no.1 Novack Djokovic to win his first Wimbledon Championship.

On two wheels Chris Froome picked up where Bradley Wiggins left off by Winning the Tour de France, whilst Sir Bradley himself won the Tour of Britain on his comeback.

In a different sort of saddle Charlotte Dujardin became European Champion in Dressage for the second time. Also on horseback Ben Maher gained the world’s number one ranking in showjumping, took Individual Silver and helped win Team Gold at the European Championships – as well as winning  the King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead.

In Golf, Justin Rose beat Phil Michelson and Jason Day on the fairways of Merion, to clinch the US Open.

Further West in San Fransico Bay – in the sailing equivalent of Formula 1 – Britain’s Sir Ben Ainslie has helped turn-around the fortunes of Oracle Team USA. Trailing 1-6 to New Zealand in the America’s Cup (the winner is the first to 9 ) Ainslie was brought in as tactician. They lost the next two races – putting them on the brink of defeat at 1-8.But  in one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history – with straight wins – they beat New Zealand in a final decider to take the series 9-8.

So, it seems we can all pack away our bunting, summer furniture and sports kit with a warm glow – and if you need somewhere to store it one of our London Storage units is the business.

Plus there’s still 3 more months of the year to go – so keep it up Great Britain and let’s hope the reputation of the number 13 will need a re-think come the new year.

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