Blimey how was Christmas and all its chaos 6 weeks ago? I do not know what has happened to time but it seems to have been distorted along with what we once considered all that was "normal". I think I have just given up trying to plan anything or make any kind of sense of what is going on in the world and instead just kind of get through each day like a toddler, unsure of my next step and what is safe and dangerous, but I know I am not alone in feeling like this so it maybe this is the new normal.
Along with everyone one else 2020 made us sit and and reconsider lots of things and one thing that was apparent was that whatever we did next had to be sustainable both economically in these changing times where tourism could be switched off in a politicians heartbeat and environmentally sound as we were beginning to notice changes in our weather and natural world at our local level. If we learnt nothing from 2020 it we all had a responsibility to do the right thing. So when we read an article in late summer about a Cornish Christmas tree rental business we pricked up our ears and we weren't the only ones! As soon as we had found a brilliant, environmentally sound supplier and we launched our Rent a Christmas tree it was fantastically received locally and within two weekends most of our trees were adopted. Although saying that we didn't order a huge amount as we were really aware that we needed to make sure we had the perfect space to replant them back out with the right soil conditions and more importantly protected from the wind as nobody wants and lopsided Christmas tree! I can not tell you how lovely the whole experience was, from old friends loyally supporting us, to so many local people really jumping on board with the idea. Whole families coming out to choose a tree that would grow with their family and hopeful start a new tradition (Treedition) where every year, (as long as we do our bit right!) they welcome their family tree back into their home. What has been fantastic is most have been named, we have a Groot, Ron, Spruce Springstein, a little Jimmy, Wonky donkey and Maurice just to name a few and with those names comes an increased responsibility for us to get it right and not only keep them alive but also bloom and grow. We are learning but with expert support, so hopefully it will all going brilliantly well and we can welcome our adoptee families back around mid summer to do a bit of trimming and maybe a raise a glass to better times and then again next Christmas to collect their much bigger (hopefully) family tree.
Other somewhat late festive news was Father Christmas called into Potters three times leading up to the big day. On his first visit he dropped in to welcome our local horse riders who arrived for the 2nd annual charity ride (in aid of the local housing charity Homes for Wells) where they raised an amazing £130. We were so pleased that with a bit of Covid safety tweaking this was still able to go ahead as it really gets everyone in the Christmassy spirit, with lots of tinsel, fancy dress and mulled wine, although the horse back carol singing plans had to postponed for next year. On his next visit he arrived on the back of a fairy lit tractor and trailer with elves handing out chocolate father Christmases. This was so lovely as the children where so excited when the tractor pulled into the yard and father Christmas knew all their names, that it really showed the magic of the time of year both to the children and the community. His final visit was on the last Wednesday before Christmas when he and his elves drove his special little car to the old barn and met with small family groups, having a little chat with the children and double checking his list was all in order. It really was heartwarming to see the magic of Christmas is still well and truly alive in Wighton even in a difficult year like 2020 and a big thankyou to all that ensure this magic continues year in year out. As father Christmas pulled out of Potters barn the horses literally pulled in for their winter digs, the old barn never ceases to amaze me just how versatile a space it really is.
So that's Christmas all caught up and since then we have like everyone else been in Lockdown 3. Our local NHS teams have yet again gone above and beyond in their response to the crisis and have being flat out busy vaccinating so hopeful that we can get back to some semblance of normality. Saying that I do hope some things do stay after we are let out, like shopping as much as we can from local producers, appreciating our community and cramming a bit less in.