SOME people are optimists by nature, and others are pessimists, but I’m not sure which I am.

A Hungarian proverb declares: “A pessimist is a well-informed optimist.” But that’s a bit too pessimistic for me.

I would never describe myself as “a glass half-full person” because it’s such an irritating and unimaginative cliché, but nor am I necessarily a glass half-empty person.

I’m more likely to look at empty glasses and ask whose round it is.

When at my most pessimistic I fear it’s going to be one of those long, difficult working weeks.That pessimism normally descends shortly after 9am on a Monday morning.

Harold Wilson once said that he was an optimist who carried a raincoat.

And that probably sums up my attitude. I’m optimistic on the whole, but I realise my hopes could well be disappointed. After all, I’ll be making all the same new year’s resolutions on Sunday, hopeful but fully expecting to be making them again in January 2024.

But if 2022 was anything to go by, then even the sunniest of optimists will be feeling fearful about the new year.

The one just ending brought us sky-high energy bills, rent and mortgage repayments on the increase, pay going down by failing to match inflation, a massive growth in the use of food banks, strikes crippling health, rail and postal services and brutal war in Europe again. It hardly bought many reasons to be cheerful.

Monarchists mourned the death of our longest-reigning monarch in September. But some would argue that the death of another head of state a week earlier – that of Mikhail Gorbachev – was more significant.

For all the immense affection that surrounded Queen Elizabeth, and the praise for the stability she represented, her job wasn’t exactly difficult. She would read speeches written for her, smile and wave, and ask people if they’d come far.

Gorbachev had to lead one of the world’s superpowers and brought the Cold War to an end, effectively by surrendering. That might have had a greater impact in the long run.

It makes it seem all the worse that the present Russian leader has started a hot war.

Indeed the death of the Queen, who was latterly regarded as the most popular member of the royal family, was not the only disappointment for monarchists in 2022.

The year began with Prince Andrew giving $12 million to a woman he claimed he had never met.

And it ended with Harry and Meghan talking in detail of the misery being in the royal family brings with it, the abuse his wife was subjected to, and their completely understandable desire to get as far away as possible. All Jeremy Clarkson’s cruelly nasty column in The Sun did was to confirm everything they had said.

It must also have been an intensely embarrassing year to be a Conservative. I wonder what Liz Truss is doing these days?

The Mad Queen may hold some world record for the most amount of economic damage inflicted in the shortest possible time.

But we should remember her brief flash of popularity.

The Daily Mail spent the summer singing her praises and denouncing her rival Rishi Sunak – and shouted its optimism when she entered Downing Street with the front page headline: “Cometh the hour, cometh the woman.”

It followed that up days later with: “At last! A true Tory budget.”

But it didn’t last, and within a few days it declared: “Millions facing pain on pensions.” When even the Daily Mail criticises a Tory leader, they must know they’re in trouble.

Former prime ministers used to retire to the House of Lords, although to their credit the last seven haven’t. Or they’ll write their memoirs. Margaret Thatcher’s was called The Downing Street Years. Could Truss’s be The Downing Street Minutes?

Some of her predecessors make a lot of money making speeches. Boris Johnson is said to have already made £1million from speeches since being ejected. Could she do the same?

I doubt it. Her series of local radio interviews were characterised by long silences, which could lead audiences to decide that life’s too short.

But personally I’d pay good money to hear her repeat her cringe-making complaint about Britain’s cheese imports: “That. Is. A. Disgrace.” Nothing beats live comedy.