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The Winter Solstice is the perfect time for foraging a few sprigs of holly and mistletoe from your in-laws’ London garden, munching on flapjacks and looking back over the last six months, when I have neglected the blog in favour of new projects.

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June -Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ at the Tithe Barn. Really proud of this project -adapting for the stage and directing a new production. Great teamwork, nominated for three local theatre awards including a win for Astrid Bishop as best actress in a drama.

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July – more allotment flowers despite a modicum of neglect. One day I will finally get to grips with it all, but it’s so much better than the mound of carpet-covered rubbish,  nettles and brambles I took over.

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August -a final glorious holiday in Pembrokeshire after  ten years of visiting my late parents’ house to do essential maintenance and visiting my elderly great aunt who passed away suddenly. A new phase beckons but we’ll miss the afternoons in the sand dunes of Broad Haven South.

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September -the start of a new school year and a new job for me at Downside School back in the classroom permanently after a few years doing other things. A touch of Hogwarts perhaps?

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October -a visit to Cambridge to catch up with University friends after many years. Older, wiser,  greyer and stiffer in the joints but essentially we’re all still the same.

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November – fireworks with dear friends and treading the boards again.

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December –  a restful end to the year, holding close those I hold dear and making plans for next year.

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I wish you a Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.