Thursday, 22 December 2016

Here's to a peaceful, happy Christmas, wherever you are

Back from Colombia, weary, jet lagged and minus a suitcase, we pay a fleeting visit to North India, courtesy of a Bollywood Night at Bridport Electric Palace with the mighty Dhol Foundation.
It's the launch of the town's first-ever Winter Solstice Festival, which I've helped to organise. Tonight, it's Billy Bragg with Grace Petrie and Whatever Happened to the Protest Song?  It's sold out, so I hope I can get in.

The loud and joyous music of The Dhol Foundation is a tonic to the ears and tired bones. There is nothing to do but smile and dance and show off a henna tattoo I had done on my hand by a very beautiful and gracious young lady in the foyer. I'm fifty-five and have never had a tattoo, henna or otherwise, in my life.

I like it.

Mr Grigg and I must visit India next. And get tattoos.

It's been a busy old year, travel-wise, with trips to Budapest, Madeira, Iceland, Dublin, Corfu, Sicily and Colombia. Phew. In hindsight, it was too much really but I've become addicted to travel. So it's probably a good thing I've been very busy work-wise, to pay for it all.

They say travelling broadens the mind. It does indeed. But it also makes me realise how lucky I am to live in this wonderful part, the best part, of Dorset.

A woman travels the world over in search of what she needs and returns home to find it.



Despite the travels, I'll be glad to see the back of 2016. Personally, it's been the worst year of my life, losing three close members of my family, suffering a heart attack as Brexit became a reality and then international events conspiring to make my little world a whole lot worse.

On the strength of this blog, I've been invited to apply for a part in a reality TV show about the supposed division between young and old. After much soul searching (about five minutes), I turned it down. I'd get angry and emotional with bigots of any age, which would make great telly but would be terrible for me.

Next year has to be better. It's got to be. All I can do is be kind to others, embrace the beauty in the details of nature and beat on, boats against the current. I do believe in Gatsby's green light, even if in reality its promise does not exist.

This year and next, I'm supporting Water Aid and The Woodland Trust. Not instead of sending Christmas cards but as well as. I'd hate it, in this internet age, if greetings cards became a thing of the past.

So this year, I hope you have the Christmas you would like to have. May 2017 be healthy and full of joy.

In the meantime, you'll look back with laughter on those little moments of Christmas Chaos, just like I did when I failed to surface until Boxing Day...

Here's a leaflet about it. One of my stories is in it.
That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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