Just a little over a year since I wrote anything on here, despite my best intentions to do so much more often in 2017. It has been another year of ups and downs and for many of my friends very difficult at times. There have been hellos and goodbyes, welcoming new born family members and mourning the passing of friends and those we’ve known a long time.
The world is full of trauma and tragedy and we’ve witnessed countless disasters and incidents on our TV screens, each and every life lost, a loved one to someone. Some miraculous escapes and an epic survival of a surfer marooned at sea for more than 24 hours.
But in amongst the political, the painful and the poignant there have been cherished moments of love, joy and laughter. As a family we have had the joy of watching young Charlie Shaw grow and develop into an entertaining young lady, shared the delight of meeting Baby Jacob Martin, our newest family member, and seeing all our grandchildren thrive and become such wonderful young people.
We waved my eldest granddaughter Angel off at the station to a life changing month long trip to Cambodia. The culmination of almost two years fundraising and 1500 cup cakes along with other fundraising events and donations. Thank you to everyone who helped in any way.
My grandson Fin continues to enjoy his drumming and his gigs with the School of Rock Southwest. He’s grown so tall now and will soon be taller than I am!
Phoebe is developing her acting talents, a keen participant at the Playrite Theatre School, she really enjoyed making a video for the Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway Christmas promotion
The Queen made much of the importance of home and family in her speech this year and for us home has shifted temporarily to the house next door as our house is being completely renovated. We should be back in around Easter next year. The herculean task of packing and moving was largely driven by the highly organised plan conceived by my daughter Rebecca, well supported by her sister Laura. We have to do it all again but we can do it bit by bit. It has been really interesting to discover the skeleton of the house as it was stripped right back to original stone walls.
Both my beautiful daughters continue to inspire me and make me very proud as they take up social responsibilities both in their local community and further afield. Their desire to make the world a better place thrills me so much.
For me this year saw the achievement of a long held ambition as I finally gained my degree in Counselling Studies. I now divide my time between teaching and counselling which I enjoy immensely and through which I hope I can make a difference.
One thing has become clear and that is that we need to support our young people. So many are seeking help with anxiety and depression, the work of celebrities and the young royals is helping to break the taboo of talking about mental ill health. The world we knew and grew up in has changed beyond recognition and they no longer feel safe or secure. If we can offer a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on we can do much to help our younger generations.
This Christmas has brought into sharp focus the things that are dividing our society and how many are in need of the most basic provisions of food and shelter. The birth of Jesus reminds us that He too was born in impoverished circumstances, a cold and draughty stable, his parents becoming refugees soon afterwards, sharing all of our human condition.
The challenge for all of us is to see those in need as individual human beings, someone’s son, sister, brother, mother, aunt or father. It was humbling to meet some of those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster when they visited Cornwall. Hearing their stories, sharing a meal with them and hugging them goodbye was a privilege and another reminder that the simplest, smallest things can make a big difference. Race and religion do not stop genuine connection or warm hugs! The incredible resilience of the human spirit is tried and tested across the world, for many hope fades and we need to be able to offer them hope once more.
I am looking forward to a New Year and all the challenges and opportunities it may bring. Age is making me very conscious of the passing of time, all the more reason to tell those I love how much they mean to me and to reach out to those who need a light in their darkness.
If you have a chance to do something take it, someone wisely said we only regret the things we didn’t do! God Bless and wishing you a Happy and peaceful New Year