Time is catching up with me. Firstly, who would believe that it is already the 8th December? This year has flown by so quickly, I almost stop to wonder whether someone stole some of my days from it. In fact, they must have stolen weeks from it!

I tried to think back what I actually achieved during the year. I completed 2 successful projects, made good progress on the third, although sometimes it feels like I am muddling through it. Not due to a fault of my own, but merely due to becoming weary and exhausted from beating my head against a brick wall. But all I can say: welcome to the public sector. I would very much like to get back into the private sector where decisions are made quickly, perhaps even forcefully. I miss the ‘can-do’ approach, the proactive attitudes, the expectations of change, the energy and the celebration of successes. Of course I don’t miss the longer hours and inflexibility, but at this point it seems that it might be a small price to pay as it may prevent the destruction of my soul.

I shouldn’t tar all Public Sector organisations with the same brush. Some are decidedly better and more proactive than others, but overall they fall short of the Private Sector by a long mile.

What are my expectations of 2010? If you say “two-ten” in South Africa, it means one thing alone: FIFA – Football (soccer) World Cup. I am keen to see whether the air will be more charged with electricity when we are back in a few days’ time. Things were also hotting up by September, when I was last there.

What are my expectations for the World Cup?

– I hope it will run smoothly. I hope South Africa realises that the world’s eyes are upon them – under full scrutiny. Therefore I hope that even the criminals will think twice before they inflict violence, as they often would do. I hope they will understand that mugging someone is one thing, but hurting them, or at worst killing them, is not an option. Keep it clean.

– I hope people will fall in love with South Africa. I hope that is the impetuous South Africa needs to sort itself out.

– I hope the supporters, especially foreign supporters, will be sensible. That they will follow guidance that will keep them safe in South Africa.

– I hope the transport won’t be as chaotic as I fear it may be. South Africa doesn’t have a good public transport system: Minibus taxis are short of death traps, hire cars will be in short supply, the Gautrain is delayed and won’t be available for most of the tournament. The South African government will put on buses, they say. Let’s hope it works out!

And as far as the rest of 2010 goes:

I will turn 40 – officially “old”

I hope the ‘green shoots’ will finally show through in the economy

I hope to land a contract where I want to get up in the morning and get to work

I hope things work out so that we can go and visit my friend Arna in China

I am looking forward to our mini-reunion at Mabula, where we got married 5 years ago

I hope the sun shines more than it did in 2009!

In 48 hours’ time I will be on a plane, house-sitters in place to look after the cat, brain switching off all work and switching on to play. I will be dreaming of sitting in some sunshine and looking forward to eating prawns, calamari and steak whilst sipping a glass of wine. I won’t be able to wait to see my friends – especially those I haven’t seen in a long time. Roll on holiday.