Have yourself a merry little Christmas… well, as merry as you can make it.
Like everyone else, I let out a collective groan when Nicola Sturgeon popped up on the box on Saturday night to deliver the bad news.
Even as she was speaking, you could see any plans for yukking it up over the festive season evaporate.
So now we’re down to easing the restrictions just on Christmas Day itself… and even that’s being billed as not the best of ideas.
To be honest, it shouldn’t have come as any surprise. It never did seem to make sense to have a five-day holiday from coronavirus. It’s not as if Covid-19 was planning on taking a break.
And just to prove the point, along comes mutant coronavirus just to remind us all that it’s out there waiting and wants to infect us.
So now we’re down to one day of bubbling on December 25 and then back into lockdown we go for three weeks.
It does weary the soul. You can’t help but ask how much longer do we need to keep doing this? It’s only natural to want our normal lives back. We all do.
But we have no choice other than to grit our teeth and try to get through this together.
What’s the alternative? Just shrug and demand all the restrictions are lifted and let the virus do its worst?
Which is fine if you don’t care about a soaring death rate and watching the NHS burn, in which case you might want to check on where you left your humanity.
Yes, this will be a different and diminished Christmas. A lot of people won’t be able to spend it with their loved ones as they had planned to until Saturday’s blow.
It’s going to be hard to be full of joy and cheer knowing that on the stroke of midnight we’re back into lockdown.
But don’t forget this: A lot of people won’t be spending Christmas with their loved ones because they have lost them to this vicious virus. And if we don’t keep our guard up and stay vigilant, many other families will be sharing that loss.
We can’t let that happen.
And with a more virulent variant of Covid-19 stalking us, we can’t allow it to take hold and run out of control as it has in other parts of the UK.
By crunching it down now, we can all do our bit to keep it at bay at a time of year when such viruses thrive.
There are huge sacrifices being asked of us – especially our hospitality industry which is getting hammered over and over. But we must not lose sight of one thing. Hope.
The hope that collectively we can push the coronavirus back.
The hope that the new vaccines now being rolled out will give us the protection we all need to stay safe.
The hope that this time next year we will be celebrating Christmas and New Year the way we want, as we lead our lives the way we should.
So, enjoy this Christmas Day as best you can, but give yourself and those around you the best gift you have. Hope for the future.
Bill’s win inspired me to keep running
I was up out of my couch cheering on Saturday night when Bill Bailey lifted the Glitterball.
Watching someone who most folk thought had been thrown in the Strictly Come Dancing mix as this year’s novelty act triumph was real feel-good telly.
Not only that, he did it with grace, charm and some nifty footwork. Best of all, Bill proved age is just a number.
He showed as much stamina, if not more, than contestants half his age.
His absolute commitment was astonishing and his willingness to go out of his comfort zone commendable.
The fact he is 55 years old made not a jot of difference.
And that is inspirational to so many people – me included.
Sure, Bill is actually younger than me – next year the bus pass arrives. But if he can go on Strictly and win, what can I do?
Don’t worry, I’m not about to pull on some spandex over a spray tan, unless “dad dancing” becomes a category.
But I am reassessing my decision that I’m too long in the tooth to tackle something like, say, a marathon.
I mean, why not? Sure there might not be a Glitterball at the end of it, but I’d settle for aT-shirt and a medal and the satisfaction of ticking a box on my bucket list, instead of putting a cross through it.
So, you keep dancing Bill. And thanks to you, I’m going to keep running.
Winter’s still here but where’s snow?
Aye, the nights are fair drawing oot… well they will now we have yesterday’s shortest day behind us.
Of course, getting past the winter solstice doesn’t mean we are out of winter yet.
Normally, that would mean bracing for snow and ice, but all that freezing cold seems to be a thing of the past.
Can you remember the last time we saw proper snow in our neck of the woods? I remember reading years ago global warming might mean warmer but wetter winters.
Looks like they called that. My big question, though, is this… what are the cooncils spending the snow clearing budget on?