It’s time to cast away our British moans and rejoice, says North Wiltshire MP James Gray (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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It’s time to cast away our British moans and rejoice, says North Wiltshire MP James Gray
6:00am Tuesday 24th December 2013 in News
On December 24, 1777, Captain Cook and the crew of HMS Resolution discovered an uninhabited island, which he named ‘Christmas Island’.
He wrote in his journal: “On the 25th we kept Christmas in much mirth and festivity.
“The ships being safely moored, the men were allowed the whole day to amuse themselves, and every one had a pint of brandy to drink health to their friends in Old England.”
Well, we’ve been having a pretty merry time in North Wiltshire too, although I hope none of us has consumed a pint of brandy in a day!
I have had carols and mince pies (two of my favourite things) aplenty, and mulled wine enough to float a fleet.
Dinners and receptions, church services, Christmas trees, holly and ivy festooning us all.
We should have enjoyed the turkey and all the trimmings, and on Boxing Day a spot of exercise to work off our Christmas dinners. (Maybe we will even have a look in to the local hunt meet at Lacock, which I will unfortunately have to miss this year.)
It is good to spend a moment thinking of those less fortunate than we at Christmas – the homeless, the lonely, the hungry, the sick.
And let us not forget those who have to work – police, fire and ambulance workers; local authority workers; and perhaps above all the men and women for our armed forces, so many of them from this area, who are in Afghanistan or deployed elsewhere around the world and separated from the bosom of their families.
Yet let us also give thanks for so much that is so good for most of us in an area like this.
We have relative prosperity, decent health, at least compared to much of the world, and in stark contrast to earlier generations, even here, we have a lovely area to live in, and a pretty good way of life overall.
So let us cast away our great British moans and groans (the weather, cricket results, politics), and let us rejoice in all the good things around us.
Eat, drink and be merry. (But try to avoid the pint of brandy.) With my warmest best wishes to you all for a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
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