Wishing a very merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it, and a happy day to everyone else.
It’s clear and frosty here, as if nature has silvered every surface in celebration. Other parts of the UK woke up to find the outdoors gift-wrapped in an artistic smattering of snow.
This year is different. It is hard to feel unmixed joy, but perhaps all joy has a poignant character we usually don’t notice.
My thoughts are with every reader who has to provide their own cheeriness today when they would usually be with someone they love; everyone who lost someone during 2020 or is worried; everyone spending time away from their own loved ones so they can look after other people’s.
If wishes and hopes can help, I’m sending a heaping of them.
And, as love helps the world go round, a hat tip to those who can pick out a white heart on the stones.