The sun is shining and the sky is blue - it's all looking pretty good out there just now. These few days between Christmas and New Year are always different – the rhythm of the daily grind briefly disappears and pretty well anything goes. This year however the absence of that normality is rather satisfactory as there is a pleasing balance insofar as Christmas and hence New Year fall in the middle of the week, neatly sandwiched between two weekends, producing one long weekend. An added bonus is that this actually leads to relatively straightforward arrangements for school holidays and travel. Coupled with benign weather there really isn't much to dislike this year.
Looking back, previous scribblings at this point in the year inevitably tend to the contemplative, but this time we not only have a new year but a new decade. We're going to be living in the 20's, which whatever it brings sounds pleasing to my ears. So is this a new dawn? Will anything change? This tree was there in 2010 and I'm pretty sure that it'll still be there in 2030, but all around things do change and following the discontinuities and frustration of the last few years I sense that many of our friends and visitors are quite keen to move on a bit. Whether that's possible is anybody's guess.
We have a new government – well sort of. It goes against the general desire for progress to find that people who were not elected are eased back into power whilst some who patently do not deserve recognition are honoured for divisive actions and policies. At the local carol service some of this was referred to (obliquely to avoid upsetting those who only go to Church on such occasions) in the address – not a sermon – by our stand-in Vicar. At the end of his remarks on change and what might be awaiting us in the next few years he concluded with the words "We shall see". I couldn't have put it better myself.
Oh – and a very Happy New Year to both my readers!