The flip side is that the country, the countryside in particular, appears to grind to a halt, as did the trains, postmen and some NHS workers.
Little can happen on the farm in freezing weather other than ensuring the cattle, horses, hens, and sheep have plenty of food, shelter, and warm bedding. The woodsheds are full and wood fires topped up, keeping those of us lucky enough to have them warm and cozy.
Burst pipes have been challenging, particularly when called out late at night to a property to be confronted by fountains of water flooding the ground floor. Finding the stop cock taxes my brain, but fortunately I know a man who can! The moral here is not to run out of oil; the consequences are costly and hard work.
Final preparations for Christmas Day are taking shape with over eighty guests and helpers due at the Wivelsfield Better Together Christmas Lunch. Having had to resort to meals on wheels the last two years, we are reminded just how important it is to reach out to those who are alone at this time of year. It really is better to be ‘Together’ at Christmas.
It is all too easy to forget why we celebrate Christmas, a festival rejoicing the birth of Jesus. I have yet to meet anyone who finds Christmas offensive, so why do some authorities insist on avoiding such declarations of ‘faith’?
Our Christmas gatherings will encourage carol singing, guests drinking what they like, and we shall celebrate our good fortune to live in a free country where we are still allowed to say, wear and do as we wish.
I hope 2023 will be the year when free speech is celebrated and practiced increasingly, not curtailed by trolls on social media or banished from debates. I do not believe the majority of minority groups be they about religion, sexuality, skin colour, the environment, vegans or extreme politics, care a hoot when others offer their opinions. It is the minority amongst these minority groups who are doing their best to set the agenda.
It is time to sweep this nonsense aside. We have a right to express our thoughts, and those who attempt to silence us should be held up and made to account for their actions which smack of dictatorship by the back door.
We should all stand up, put our heads and voices above the parapet. This is Great Britain a proud, free, democratic nation, which is why so many wish to come here.
All I wanted for Christmas was a happy healthy grandchild - Clara Helena was born to my son Charley and Nicole last Friday - the best present ever.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas ‘Together’.