Well after a relatively quiet Christmas break, 2018 is well and truly upon us.

As always, full of promise and confidence, people are declaring their resolutions and enjoying clean living, no smoking, no drinking and regular visits to the gym.

As always this will last for about three weeks then fizzle out into life back in the drunken, smoke-filled slobfest that was 2017. Why do we do it?

Gyms around the world report record memberships every year as the new year starts. It’s the same every year and when one gets older these January firsts come round far too frequently.

I have never really understood why January 1st should any different to any other day; it is just a day.

Though I suppose coming, as it does, just a week after Christmas, everyone feels totally full of food and drink.

As usual, I made no resolutions this year, I decided in December that I was going to try and drink a bit less and try and live a little healthier, but in Saigon’s shockingly polluted environment it’s not easy.

Hopefully this will be the year when I get to split my time between city and seaside. I have desperately wanted to do this for ages, but business pressures dictate that I am in the city. I think I should look into buying a facemask as well.

Of course here in Vietnam, we get to do it all again in a few weeks time when Tet arrives.

This time it’s the Year of the Dog. Ho Chi Minh will empty, the streets will be traffic free and most places will be closed. This year I really do intend to get out of town for a while.

Also, maybe in the Year of the Dog, those pesky dognappers will stop their wicked practice.

The thought of their family pet finishing up on a dinner table must be a very hurtful one for pet owners.

Meanwhile all over the world we seem to be going through one of the most turbulent and unsettling periods for a long time. I look at the West and realise exactly why I left.

It isn’t perfect here but I feel much more settled and safe than I would back in the UK. I guess the sunshine helps.

I look at friends posts from home and shiver at the very thought of an English winter.

It would be nice to think that we could all make each other’s lives a little gentler this year.

A kind word here, a good deed there, goes an awful long way in society. So many people respond with hate filled replies on social media. It seems that the journey from disagreement of an idea to full on hate fuelled angry shouting is but a very short one.

Instead of making resolutions that we know we’ll never keep, why not try small ideas that we can.

It would be nice to make 2018 the year of kindness and respect. Go on, you know it makes sense.

I hope that this year is good for all and the year when the world finally starts to realise that we are all in this together.

Following a successful 25-year career as a singer/songwriter/musician, Keith pulled out of the rat race and moved to Southeast Asia in 2008. First living in Thailand, then Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City since 2013. www.inseasia.com