OK, 2017, thank you for giving me a new grandchild-in-waiting, a new FIFTEEN THINGS book - 15 Things Not to Do With a Puppy - delightfully illustrated by Holly Sterling, who is very good at drawing puppies. Speaking of puppies, welcome to Tide who lives with The Sunshines and is an absolute star. Thank you for all the times we've seen our little Welsh chap. Thank you for Greenbelt 2017, friends, family, learning something new, and going with The Golden Child and her mum to see The Royal Ballet dance The Nutcracker. We all came out of that feeling sparkly.
You took Mum, which was a kind and timely thing. You also took three lovely friends - Cecilia, Alan, Alistair, who all still had so much living to do. You very nearly took my sister, and left her so badly injured she was in hospital for over six weeks. In return, you gave me flu and bronchitis. I really don't know how to thank you. Oh, and a cool wet summer.
You also gave me the reliable cycle of times and seasons, the church festivals, new babies at the toddler group and older ones growing up. The reliable Tony, too, who drove thousands of miles helping my family out and kept things turning over when I've been ill.
In Scotland and Northern England we have the tradition of the Firstfoot, the first person to come into the house at New Year. It should be a dark man, and he is supposed to bring luck. In practice this usually means throwing one of the menfolk out just before midnight and letting him in again after the chimes. Last year, it was LOS. LOS, are you reading this? You're not doing it this year. I'll ask Hamilton to be first paw.
As for The Archers, they are completely out of control. Justin and Lillian's wedding is back on if he doesn't get arrested first. Freddie is permanently spaced, Pip is expecting a little accident, Emma's whingeing again, Linda insists on putting rhyming couplets into the pantomine, the vicar just exploded, Peggy's cat needs to be restrained under the Dangerous Animals Act, and Shula is going to Norway leaving Kenton to run things. Kenton can't run a bath. Never mind, he'll probably be eaten by Peggy's cat.
Happy Christmas! xxxxxxx