This week… so this is Christmas

I remember one year as a child when dad came home from work on 23rd December to announce that ‘Christmas is cancelled’. At the start of his career, as a textile chemist in the fashion industry in the sixties, a promised bonus wasn’t forthcoming or something similar. Four little glum faces (later to become five) reflected the disappointment that I can recall even now. Determined to make the best of things, on Christmas Eve we went exploring the countryside with mum to gather greenery and a branch to make our own ‘tree’. It was a straggly thing we festooned with fairy lights and a few ornaments.

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This week… flower power, prospecting and private jets

It’s just over two weeks to the shortest day on 21 December, when the light begins to return to my little corner of the world. More significantly an end to 2020 is in sight. While there have been some silver linings, I can’t imagine there’s anyone on the planet that won’t be glad to see the back of this annus horribilis, which is really saying something if you think about it.

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This week… the festive newt, feasting and festivities

More than ever this year it seems we are all looking to nature and simple traditions to soothe our souls. It’s feels like the time to take a slow, deep breath and steady ourselves as the year draws to an end. It’s also a time to be thankful. We got through the roller coaster ride of 2020. There has been sorrow and sadness but we made it. A new year is on the horizon and we need to nurture that little spark of hope for new beginnings. Let’s take the time to find our simple pleasures where we may and follow the pragmatic example of Dame Joan Collins, who declared this week her intention to “squeeze every ounce of joy from life”. The show must go on.

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