In a feeble attempt to bring some festive cheer to you all, I shall start by using the most appropriate phrase: “Happy Christmas”, “Feliz Navidad”, “Nadalek Lowen” “Vesele Vianoce” “God Jul” and “Buon Natale”. I acknowledge that my family and friends are all pretty much from a certain demographic and so there is no need to worry about ‘Equality and Diversity’ issues and thus fear of offence to those of all faiths and none. The majority of friends and family, as you will no doubt be aware, are fond of imbibulation rather than the bible or the qu’ran or the torah. The odd one or two feast at the nipples of the Goddess of Wu but that’s ok. No animals get harmed by Wu worship, although vegetables get a hard time. In any case, we have had the winter solstice, the year is turning and the sun is making its slow trek northwards. My antipodean cousins still have half the summer to enjoy, so hurrah!
It is now nearly 1300 on Christmas Eve, GMT. Richard, Karen and the girls are still abed in the far West in British Columbia, Sam is breakfasting in New York, Arantza and Pilar are an hour ahead in Asturias, as is Haden and Luby near Bratislava, Benedikt and Beatrice in Rome, May and Lars in Norway…it seems the whole of Europe is in the same time zone except the UK (insert Brexit reference here). For Lesley in Brisbane it is very nearly Christmas day and it already is for Trevor in Adelaide and for Roger and Liz, Dave and Lesley in New Zealand. I often think of you all spread right across the known world. To you all I wish that 2017 brings joy, laughter and Vaseline for those uncomfortable moments.