A bit of discipline required, here, so decided that Sunday is it! I must write this every week and thus avert the disappointment of my many followers … Actually, I’ve just agreed to a wager with Manny who has decided to set up his own blog: whoever has the least followers, weekly, must buy the other a CD of his/her choice. Excellent! Suspect I, personally, might overdose on Coldplay. On the other hand, might finally win Manny over to the virtues of Don Henley and staring at the bottom of a glass!

So, Christmas … I have always loved Christmas; perhaps more the run-up to the 25th rather than the actual day. As a child, following the excitement of opening our presents, we were then piled into the car and driven to Eaglesham, on the outskirts of Glasgow, to spend the day with my mother’s only sister and her family – 4 rugby-obsessed cousins, 3 of whom were a good few years older and had no interest in us at all! I always remember my poor father had to drive there and back and, pre-Forth Road Bridge, it would take us 2 and a half hours from Cupar. My biggest bugbear, I always missed the Christmas Top of the Pops and that was major I can assure you! There was no recording programmes in the 70s so, year after year, I missed Donny ….. no words. Obviously scarred!

​I loved the end of the Christmas term at school. A boarding school – although I was one of 100 day girls – the excitement was tangible. Our carol service in Hope Park Church, St Andrews, was on our last day and was so special …. Then it was holiday time, usually around the 13th December so we had plenty of time to relax and soak in the magic of everything Christmas. Sadly, my children were never afforded that luxury with term breaking up days before.

Perhaps my favourite Christmas memory of all, though, takes me back to a very cold, snowy 1978. In second year at uni, there was a welly shortage in Edinburgh! Pop came to collect me from Pollock Halls and, on our way down Clerk Street, the Salvation Army brass band were playing carols outside Old College. We stopped to listen and it is a memory I shall cherish forever.

The point of all this …. I think we’ve lost the magic! It rarely snows at Christmas any more and the drab decorations in George Street say it all. People are out in their droves spending money like water and have been for weeks. Have I missed something? Has Christmas been brought forward to Mid-Summer’s Day or has the world just gone mad?! I always told my children that Santa only exists if you believe. Does anyone believe in Santa any more? Does anyone care? Life is all about money; all about greed but there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Sadly, we can’t turn back time…

‘You cannot step twice in the same river for other waters are continually flowing in.’

One of my favourite quotes – apparently attributed to Heraclitus C, 500 BC.

​Trish, signing off. Once again, nobody forced you to read it!!