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It’s been a challenging year. A good friend of mine the other day informed me of the importance of the winter solstice to the druid calendar. Her thoughts seemed very fitting to this time of year and my journey through the year.

For druids it is a time that is very ‘Introspective’ and it should really be a time of quiet contemplation and going deeper within, asking oneself things like: what have I manifested in my life this year, which things am I grateful for, which things would I like to look forward to next year, how will I achieve them…

The Winter Solstice is celebrated by being together, enjoying nice food, drink a nice snifter or two by candlelight, and remember that even though this is a dark time of year, it holds the promise of new growth and the return of light…. typically, nature is brought into the home, such as a tree or a wreath with holly – this connects us to nature….in times gone by, people would not really go out much during this time as it was so cold and icy. So, they would bring nature into the home…. they might put all the candles out and sit in the dark for a little while, and then light one candle as a symbol of the returning light.

The pagan festivals are very much about a ‘consciousness’. One is aware of the changes in the landscape and one appreciates each turning of the wheel, as each season has passed. During this dark time, the seeds are incubating under the soil, because from darkness, comes new growth, new promises of the little seedlings which we will see in spring.

I sat in my kitchen and lit some candles and took quiet contemplation of the essence of the year thus far. I must confess I am not particularly good at being mindful or sitting still for exceptionally long……but I did feel the warmth of the candles and my gin and tonic! Moreover, despite all what has happened it has been a good year for Simon and me. I have managed to create a small business in what has been quite a challenging start. I have enjoyed teaching others about pottery and helping people unlock their creativity. I look forward to opening again soon at some point and reembark on The Old George Odyssey. In the meantime, I have made lots of work which I hope to sell throughout the year ahead.

I also took part in the village Christmas walking market. I did very well, and further to this I put good use to my old window dressing skills decorating Christmas wreaths and table centre pieces. To my surprise they were all very well received, and I sold them all through on Facebook and Instagram.  I had to then make even more for the village walking market. To my amazement I now feel like the beating heart to the village high street. I did more than I could ever expected, and many people purchased pottery vouchers to exchange as Christmas gifts, along with my pottery and jars of jam.

Furthermore, I have my new post to look forward to at Cambridge regional college. Teaching pottery for a few times a week. I am guessing because of the present situation with Covid my start date will be delayed. However, I feel excited to get back into education again. It will make a refreshing change after years of working in retail.

I embrace this New Year as a year of more opportunities. Whatever it throws at me and my lovely patient husband, we will use our creative tenacity to make the best of 2021.

I wish you all a creative and Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all soon back in the studio.