Did I mention that I never check my ticket until at least a week later?  I am aware that I did not win the jackpot on Friday but nobody did and, quite honestly, £12 million more may come in handy being that tomorrow’s winnings, now, amount to £184 million.  Utterly obscene, as Pop would say but, distributed wisely – and, moreover, altruistically – I think that may just be fine …

A real Groundhog Day today, it feels as though life is just going through the motions until Christmas.  Not even the shortest day, yet, I don’t ever remember Christmas following so hot on the heels of summer.  Typical of life, today, though.  One of discontent, there is a need for focus; for something to look forward to.  As the nights become ever darker and the days ever shorter, humidity is a distant memory – thank God – and there is a crispness in the air as the leaves display their autumn hues, in abundance, dispelling any attempt at gloom.  The first Christmas adverts are creeping in as mainstream media, once more, sows the seeds of urgency predicting a shortage of toys, turkeys, pigs in blankets (devastating!), household items and … well, let’s face it, everything!  Get shoppng now or reap the terrible consequences.

There will come a day, in the not-too-distant future, when Christmas will be sold all year round.  The decorations will remain up and commercialism will have done its worst – that, together with the plea that there is no time!  No time to put it all up and take it all down; not anymore.  Gone is the magic, or is it?  I found a poem I wrote in December 2020, recently, Still Magical …  (See A Voice Outwith the Crowd)  All a bit low, our plans for Austria cancelled, I remember sitting with my laptop just putting thoughts to paper – and it was, then, I realised that Christmas would never change for me.  As a child, one opens one’s heart to the magic and that’s where it stays forever more, locked inside.  Battered and bruised by life, as the years go by, one may be but that magic remains and all it takes is a song, a smell or a special memory to awaken it once more; to remind one to believe.  As I always used to say to Manny when he was little: Santa only exists if you believe …  Worth remembering never to forget.

Seems I have fallen into the trap, at least a month too soon.  In fact, I confess that I ordered Christmas cards at 1am in the morning the other night!  Christmas cards.  Of all the traditions, that was one of my favourites – and one of the most telling.  The card of choice was always so revealing: the glittery ones from Tesco, thrown into the basket on a supermarket shop, or the more traditional scene, carefully chosen, and sold by a favourite charity; hand-written with love or signed and sent courtesy of a printed address label.  I use the past tense because it seems, for most, cards are just too much – effort and cost.  Email has done its utmost to kill the card but never in this house!  I love cards, in general, and have always boasted a store of those collected whenever or just because.  ‘Thank you’ letters are still written, as are those to special friends just to let them know I am thinking of them.  Simple.  Thoughtful.  Priceless.  I have never known anyone more prolific in the handwritten letter than my dear friend, Ginny.  Now 90, she can still lay claim to the most unique and beautiful script and, while there could be no-one more busy, I cannot count the number of times she has lifted my day, over the years, completely out of the blue.  The sight of that white envelope, addressed in her familiar hand – well, it just has ‘I care’ written all over it.  How lucky am I?

Strange.  I feel as though I have written those words quite a lot recently.  How lucky am I to feel lucky?  Eat your heart out Pollyanna!  Meanwhile, how lucky are you that my tangent of wistfulness has, thus far, prevented me from addressing the issues at large?  No more.  What of the GPs on a 3-day week while commanding increased salaries in the realms of £100k?  The misleading national stats which record telephone consultations as those face-to-face?  The fact that DC Comics has made Jonathan Kent – the son of Lois Lane and Clark Kent – bi-sexual in the latest issue to be released on the 9th November?  Superman?!  That Lego are set to remove gender bias – definable as what, exactly?! – from its toys (oh, sorry, males and females, as in Adam and Eve, as in the procreation of mankind?) to make it ‘more inclusive’?  Of course!  What of the models in every magazine or catalogue, now black or Asian – looking malnourished to the extent of anorexia or a long-standing heroin addiction – and miserable enough for that to be so, while selling clothes?  (Whatever happened to Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell?  Good-looking, independent women who were au fait with a dentist?!)  Enough?  No, skimming through The Telegraph online, I found this: Ditch ‘ladies and gentlemen’ and you lose values’.  British Airways will no longer open their announcements with the traditional address in a bid to be more inclusive.  ‘In a bid to be more inclusive’?  Utter bxxxxxks!  That is nothing more than pathetic, cowardly, subservience to the aggressive, pitiful, left-wing, oh, so hard-done-by, bullying minority who go under the guise of the four-letter swear word, ‘woke’!  The Tyranny of Tolerance given free rein by those who should know better; those who should respect values and tradition; those who are weak; those prepared to shirk everything they stood for.  Somebody, please, put the cork back in the bottle!!

Ah, that’s more like it!

In the absence of a suitable quote, permit me to take from my own hand …

For ‘woke’ is a victim culture, birth dictates the joining fee
Some bemoan the hand they’re given, some accept responsibility.
Ultimately, we walk this path alone, one life, one chance, one legacy
Change the ‘o’ to an ‘a’, wake up to ‘Poor me!’  Love yourself, that’s key
And start living!

Woke Up!’, A Voice Outwith the Crowd.

This is Trish, signing off.

p.s.  Methinks that poem is destined to be one of infinite verse …