A stock market boom, a bitcoin bubble, trade indices at recent highs, a low fear factor, even eurozone GDP is rising. But 2017 hasn’t been all good
• The most-read business stories of 2017
We look back at some of the best strikes of 2017, taking in those you may recall and highlighting a few that you may you have missed along the way
Never mind us waffling on about this, here’s Arséne Wenger: “Any goalscorer is ready to take any part of his body, even if it’s the little toe, to score a goal and Olivier had that kind of reflex. He transformed that goal, I would say, into art.
• Serbian’s participation in first grand slam event of the year in doubt
• ‘Only when I’m 100% ready to play will I be able to come back’
Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from next week’s Qatar Open to place a further question mark on his participation in the Australian Open.
The Serbian has been sidelined for the last six months and was unable to play in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi on Friday when an elbow injury flared up.
I once wrote a hymn of praise to the achievements of the founding fathers. There’s still much to celebrate – but their inspirational vision needs an urgent update
There’s a million things to love about Hamilton, the musical that has opened in London to reviews as glowing as those that greeted its debut on Broadway. The lyrics are so ingenious, so intricate and dexterous, that the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has a claim to be among the most exciting writers, in any medium, in the world today. Rarely have I seen an audience delight in the tricks and rhyming pyrotechnics of language the way I saw a preview audience react to Hamilton a fortnight ago.
As I say, there are countless other pleasures. The staging is inventive, the melodies memorable and, by having black and minority ethnic actors play Alexander Hamilton and his fellow founding fathers, the musical instantly offers a powerful new take on America’s tragic, enduring flaw: race. But it was the idealism of the show – which venerates Hamilton and George Washington and unabashedly romanticises the revolution that birthed the United States of America – that struck a particular chord for me.
John Crace charts an extraordinary 12 months for Theresa May as part of our satirical look back at 2017
“The Enemies of the People”, aka the supreme court, rule that parliament should have a vote on triggering article 50. Theresa May is outraged. She hadn’t taken back control only to give back control to the British parliament. The Conservatives then draw up a bill to go through the Commons that Jeremy Corbyn says his party will back. Theresa May is again outraged. How dare the Labour party attempt to thwart the will of the people by voting with the government?
Towards the end of January, Theresa spells out her vision for Brexit in her Lancaster House speech. Britain will be leaving the single market and the customs union, though very much hoping that the EU will give us all the benefits of both, without either having to pay a penny or being obliged to abide by any of its regulations. The EU is understandably bemused, but praises the prime minister for the clarity with which she described her confusion.
Readers have complained about travel, phone and financial companies among others. Here are the repeat offenders
This was the year in which Parking Eye became the UK’s most hated company (at least judged by our mailbag). British Airways managed to go into near-complete meltdown, and hotel, car hire and other travel-related problems dominated the Consumer Champions column.
In our annual roundup of the issues faced by Guardian Money readers over the past 12 months, we sadly have to report that 2017 saw us receive more letters of complaint than ever before.
The letter you always wanted to write
I can’t remember a time before you drank. As children, we quickly learned to spot the signs. You would become progressively louder and more argumentative before taking offence at some perceived slight and losing your temper. I have no idea if you remember all the terrible things you have said and done while drunk. If you do, you have never apologised. The hurt and the sadness is for the rest of us to bear, while you carry on as if everything is fine.
It is harming your health. No one can drink as much as you do and be OK. But the first heart attack didn’t register, and neither did the next. Stress, you said. I need to relax. As soon as you got home from the hospital, you made yourself a drink. We let you. How do you stop a grown man drinking? We must have poured away gallons of whisky over the years, but you just buy more. Besides, you have made it clear: either we accept your alcoholism, or we lose you. If it ever comes down to it, you will always choose the bottle. It is what alcoholics do.
There are no typical autistic people, despite the savant stereotypes. My son is just himself: he’s me, with a coating of autism
I am so looking forward to my trip with my son next week. First up is Cern, in Switzerland, where my son gets an hour on the Large Hadron Collider all to himself. On Tuesday, it’s off to the National Portrait Gallery in London, where an exhibition of his crayon selfies is on show (royal attendance is rumoured). Wednesday he’s being filmed for the BBC completing a Rubik’s Cube with one hand.
Thursday, he’s on at the National Theatre, where he’ll recite the works of Shakespeare from memory. Friday, we’re off to Vegas to win a fortune at blackjack. I’ve bought the matching suits and sunglasses and, get this, he gets to fly the plane home himself.
What a great and crazy year it has been. Looking back I have made so many things. Things I have been able to share with you and some items which are in the pipeline. Granny Squares Home was published in the Autumn and I realise now looking at the photos that this time last year I was making the Vintage style blanket. In many ways the perfect project for a cosy Christmas break. This Christmas I am not ‘mid-commission’ so it gives me the opportunity to just make, perhaps follow the pattern of another designer. That is a very restful feeling. In 2018 I have another book ready to be published and having had a sneaky peek at the photos, I am hopeful it will have the same appeal as me previous two books.
Last year in a crazy wave of honesty I published my new-yarn resolutions. So let’s have a look how well I did….
Keep a record of everything I make – Yes I did this…suprisingly. I made over 90 knitted/crocheted items (madness).
Keep looking and spotting – Think I did this but not enough
Make notes of new ideas – Failed – need to do more next year
Write down the yarn I use in my notebook – Failed again – totally
Dream big dreams – Sort of… more of a doing year than a dreaming year. Will try again
Have creative fun – Certainly
Compliment my hero or people who inspire me – I did some of this but I will do more!
I have begun to write my new list for 2018, which I will share with you and I would love to hear yours if you are wiling to share – but my most abiding rule is to be ‘thankful’. Thank you if you have enjoyed and commented on the blog this year. I am looking forward to a new creative year.
The former BBC foreign correspondent is thrilled at the TV adaptation of his book, but says the criminal interests he warned against have infiltrated London – and that Brexit raises the risk of further corruption
The BBC’s new flagship drama is already said to be 2018’s The Night Manager before the first episode has even aired. A chillingly sumptuous portrait of globalised crime, McMafia’s first episode will be broadcast on New Year’s Day, before being streamed worldwide on Amazon Prime. The eight-part series stars James Norton as an urbane, privately educated hedge fund manager who is trying to pursue a legitimate career free from his Russian gangster father’s criminal network – but becomes compromised when tentacles of violence stretch all the way from Moscow, drawing him in.
The author of the book upon which the show is based will be holding a party every week in honour of each episode. “Because,” as Misha Glenny says with a bemused smile, “this doesn’t happen very often, does it? For a nonfiction author of a nonfiction minor cult book to go to a big fictional TV series – well it’s just kind of dreamland.”