Short dark days, Bowmore whisky, log fires and the 12 days of Christmas: the true season of mellowness.

I’m an enthusiast for the Winter Solstice but it’s not because I’m a misanthrope or a pessimist or even a creature of the night, it’s more to do with a Northern European enthusiasm for log fires, mellow whisky, candlelight, harmony sung in Quires,  and conversation sheltered from the winter weather out there beyond the shelter of homestead.

I’m in that mood tonight as the Christmas season reaches its climax. There will be fun, a touch of wassailing no doubt, and good company too but, deep inside my sometimes extrovert exterior, I shall be putting my thoughts in order and planning how to do better in 2015. Quite a lot of me enjoys sitting back smiling, and feeling grateful for the people I’m fond of, the life that has been mostly kinder than I deserve and visiting some of the ghosts of the people I have lost who made previous Christmases special too.

Time to put another log on the fire, pour myself another glass of Bowmore (nectar from Islay, the land of my fathers) and, yes, to smile enigmatically hoping, greedily I know,  for better things for all of us in 2015.

One improvement that immediately jumps into my mind is to come back here to my blog more regularly now that 2014, a year of almost continuous and tedious illness, is drawing to its end. Too often this year,  I’ve not been well enough to do everything that I wanted to do. I know it’s not truly in my gift but, one of my resolutions for the New Year is to be healthy and to see more of you guys out there again.

I’m raising my glass to all you loyal readers of these pages, wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Before I go, I’ll play you some music – a piece I always try to listen to at least once each Christmas. It’s the Christmas Mass by the French Baroque composer, Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643 – 1704) performed by the Choir and Musicians du Louvre conducted by Marc Minkowski. I think Monsieur Charpentier understood my mood perfectly.
See you soon.

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