This event is now in its third year and it was heart warming to see 60 people from as far afield as Horsham, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and of course Wivelsfield sit down and enjoy a wonderful lunch in the beautifully decorated village hall with its newly refurbished floor, on Christmas Day.
The Vicar the Revd Christopher Breeds dropped in and kindly accepted the invitation to say grace which on this occasion he sang, quite beautifully. Then the guests and helpers enjoyed a full Christmas lunch. The indisputable star of the occasion was certainly the most enormous turkey given so generously by Mark and Audrey Perrett from Oaks Farm, Ditchling.
This Christmas Day event grows bigger each year and thanks to the kindness of so many local people, everyone enjoyed a free lunch in congenial company with much fun, laughter and friendship. It is indeed heart warming to see how greatly everyone enjoys and appreciates this very special communal occasion.
The only element missing this year was a pianist! We searched high and low for many months for someone to come and play the piano. The idea was to have a good old sing along but we made do with a reading of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ and a hearty rendition of The twelve days of Christmas and some background music. Everyone joined in the fun and enjoyment and appeared to enjoy. Maybe next year we shall be overwhelmed with pianists offering to come and join us!
*The snow has gone for now and the weather is almost balmy. It is interesting for us watch how the Americans have been dealing with the recent heavy snow fall. They had to cope with up to three feet of snow falling fast and furiously which closed airports but within hours, not days, they were open and back in action. In New York 2,400 local authority staff worked round the clock in 12 hour shifts to clear 6,000 miles of icy streets.
They were helped by 1,600 snow ploughs which prevented the city from grinding to a halt. These are indeed impressive statistics which our local authorities and airport managers could well take on board. There is obviously a will in the USA to ensure that every effort is made to keep businesses running and not inconvenience the travelling public.
When flights were delayed passengers where well looked after, airlines served up hot dinners and drinks and restaurants and services were kept open with additional support and assistance laid on.
There is obviously a very bullish attitude in the US which I fear we are losing in the Great Britain. I suspect it is something to do with health and safety, litigation and of course human rights. Where did the British Bull Dog attitude go? The sooner we get it back along with some true fighting spirit and back bone the better.
*I wonder if come the New Year there will be a thorough review of the work and purpose of the Met Office. Having experienced the coldest December since records began in 1659, it is interesting and indeed enlightening to note that in October the Met Office forecast that December, January and February would be significantly warmer than last year.
There are those who now question the purpose of the Met Office which costs the tax payer £200 million a year and is headed up by chairman Robert Napier who is not in fact a weatherman but a ‘climate activist’.
It is worrying that this public body has been high jacked by the climate change/global warming lobby. They are providing some inaccurate information, and in certain cases ignore the very statistics which show that the various statements such as that made by Peter Stott, that trends towards milder winters was likely to continue and there would never be another winter like 1962/3 “for 1,000 years or more”, and would now be seen as completely wrong.
The message coming from the Met Office and several government departments is that the recent freeze we experienced in December and the cold blast we faced early in 2010 were ‘random events’. This appears to suit Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne who it seems is of the opinion that all we need to do to keep the lights on and the population warm is to build thousands of ‘useless in cold weather’ wind turbines, as he reluctantly makes plans for upgrading the nuclear option
Sure there is climate change, a process which has been going on for millions of years. Is it global warming or is it global cooling? No doubt time will tell. What is sure is that the hysteria being created by those who see opportunities to exploit a theory and create an industry and additional taxes on the back of this opportunistic band wagon, should be derailed. They have been given too much power and through scaremongering and exploitation will in due course create havoc.
It is now time to put practical people without political agendas and fanatical beliefs in charge of the Met Office. It would not hurt to do the same with government ministers, if there are any!
It will be interesting to see if the predictions of warmer than average summers will turn out to be true – time will tell.
Carola Godman Law