So did you get everything you wanted for Christmas then? It’s been a contemplative one for me this year, my head dipping back to my childhood Christmases and mum’s lovely cooking. I can’t believe there is even an argument about if Yorkshire puddings belong on a Christmas dinner plate. Of COURSE they do. I mean, the mind boggles.

Maybe my presents received, have acquired a rosy glow over the years but I still remember them as being magic. Quality Street in a plastic box is never the same as getting them in a tin and when you opened it up, the scent of Christmas rushed out at you. Sometimes when I go into antiques shops with the other half and see old toys. I have to smell them because it takes me right back to my early days: who didn’t love a fuzzy felt? I’d spend hours doing circles when I got a Spirograph. And every year I got a Dairy Diary that mum bought from the milkman. It had recipes in it and usually some money off vouchers for Scott’s Porage oats.

Mum’s presents were hit and miss. I remember one year when I was about sixteen and still living at home that she bought me a pink milk pan because she liked the colour and thought it would come in handy, she said as my features formed into an arrangement of whatever the 1980s version of ‘WTF’ was. And – guess what - forty years plus on, I still have that pink milk pan and it’s still in use.

Do you remember watching the news years ago and seeing all those people camped out on pavements so they’d be first in the queue for Harrod's new year sales? Does that happen any more? Probably not because everything seems to get reduced the day after you’ve paid full price for it – before Christmas.

I confess I haven’t ever found many things in the sales that have made me truly rejoice or think that it’s worth being jostled that much for and nothing would compel me to camp outside a shop all night. What I have done this week is spot the most beautiful handbag for half price – even though it was still a ridiculous price. I put it in my online shopping basket and then forgot about it. Not long after, I got one of those emails saying ‘Have you forgotten something? This is still in your basket. How about if we give you a further discount to entice you to buy?’ Reader, I was enticed.

I’ve never been a fan of new year, but for 2024 I think I’ll make an exception and welcome it as fast as it likes over my doorstep because I lost some people very dear to me in 2023. The Italians believe if you wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve, it’s considered very lucky.

Apparently incorporating round foods into your New Year’s Day meal is also meant to bring luck (I’m okay, sprouts are included in every meal until they are out of season) but stay away from eating chicken or lobster because they stop you going forward. If you believe all that. Anyway, whatever colour your drawers, whatever shape your food, I wish all the decent folk out there a very Happy New Year. Let’s hope this is the one where common sense prevails and the lovely Hawthorns tearoom up by Locke Park reopens. Maybe this year the councillors of Kingstone might actually bother to reply to the letters for help the owners sent them at the beginning of last year.