Truth be told, I’m sitting here feeling a bit glum. 

Just yesterday morning I had a diary full of things to look forward to, like the very special annual Army Carol service at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea for the Soldiers’ charity,, which always marks the start of Christmas for me. We had a party planned for Friday, which seems sensible to cancel, leaving me with tons of pulled pork and lots of magnums of Rosé to get through. My brother in Switzerland who I haven’t seen in 2 years, decided it was wise not to come for the holidays, leaving me missing my family in Hong Kong even more. We have a really ill member of the family, weaving a thread of sadness over all of us. So all in all, I’m mindful that this ‘cheerful’ Christmas blog I was asked to write, isn’t turning out that way.

However, I found some useful strategies over the past 2 years, which at times has (for many of us) proved to be extremely stressful. I tap through my fingers, listing 10 things to be grateful for, so here’s my list today.

  1. My family – they may drive me mad by never switching off the lights (note to the young – this is one way to save the planet!), leaving a trail of mess throughout my house and always making a dent in our cellar, but they are my strength. Peggy, our grand daughter, is without doubt a current favourite and who can blame me .. (scroll to the end to see)
  2. The team at Rathfinny – I am honestly humbled by the dedication and commitment of everyone who works at Rathfinny. They have stood by our side throughout this mad time, always willing to give more of themselves and their time, to ensure our business works. 
  3. This picture of starlings on the Estate – how beautiful is that? (scroll to the end to see)
  4. Schitts Creek – don’t judge me, but I love it and it’s my guilty pleasure when I’m feeling low. I’ve even taken to mimicking the wonderful Moyra!
  5. Good health – goes without saying really. 
  6. Joyful singing – I went to see Mark’s god daughter, Mary, sing in the debut concert of Choir Co, and was transported by the sheer energy of exquisite voices raised to the rafters. 
  7. My new hip – all going well. 
  8. Nice surprises – my cousin sent me a thick envelope full of letters written by my mother to her brother in the 1950s and 1960s, including wonderful descriptions of our early days in Hong Kong. Has inspired me to make writing letters a resolution of 2022. 
  9. Mince pies – another guilty pleasure with a cuppa. 
  10. Sussex Sparkling wine – last but not least, I’m grateful for our wine – for our Rosé to uplift me, for our Blanc de Blancs with oysters, for our Classic Cuvée when I want a treat but still want to feel thrifty, and for our delicious Blanc de Noirs for its sheer flavour and the smile it brings when with its first sip..

Anyway, there’s my list and I feel better already! 

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Baby sat under the Christmas tree dressed in a Christmas outfit in front of presents
a line of birds sat on a fence row