Merry Christmas !


This is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Our festivities started on Tuesday, with a party we gave at the Frontline Club in London, a meeting place for journalists & foreign correspondents, a stone’s throw from Paddington Station. The bad weather meant that some people couldn’t come, including singer, Jem, a fan of Heather’s book, Rena’s Promise, but about 15 friends and colleagues turned out and we had a grat evening. We had the Club almost to ourselves and after sitting round drinking cocktails we adjourned to a long, oak table by the window for dinner ( much of the food, including the excellent pheasant, is sourced from the Norfolk farm of Ralph Vaughan Smith, the club’s founder). A great evening was had by all, I think.

Back here in Herefordshire, after a truly ghastly drive from London in snow, fog and endless traffic jams – relieved by the beautiful selection of poems, music and carols on the BBC – we went to the Cornewall Arms, my local pub, which is a few yards from the house, to wish everyone Happy Christmas. It’s an entirely different world – sheep-farmers, mostly – which I find a fascinating contrast to the world I normally inhabit. The place was packed and very cheery, with tons of children and almost everyone from the village shoulder to shoulder, beer in hand.I feel privileged and grateful to have been accepted by them. Today, we are off to my family – aunt & cousins – in Somerset for Christmas. Hopefully the roads will not be as bad as they were last night, coming back from London …