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10 years on

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Away from the desk

The little bent tree

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Chamber update

School holiday fun

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Dan’s a community man

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Top five street style trends

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Health and Wellbeing

Modern approach to musculoskeletal pain

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Tram no Metro - Bike danger

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New Businesses

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Owners Corporation Law

Take more care with your insurance

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Pets Corner

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My view of Docklands; from NewQuay

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SkyPad Living

Sharing our vertical commons

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Street Art

Goodbye from Blender Studios

The District

A reading room for our community

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We Live Here

A Royal Commission into industry scandals

What women want - Dec 2012 - Jan 2013

04 Dec 2012

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. Like an awfully lot. Kind of overwhelmingly so – not that I don’t want it to be here already, it’s just that I had a little bit more to do before, well, now.

I know Christmas is the same time each year – as in specifically the same time. Not subject to full moons, third weekends of a month or anything that you can say took you a bit by surprise – but the exact same date every single year. And yet it’s still not enough notice to be ready.

Oh you’d think I was ready if you walked in the house – I have the tree up. I even have a ham bag. It’s just that I haven’t quite had time to get the lights for the tree and I haven’t quite had time to order the ham. I’ve seen plenty of Christmas lights, but I thought I’d find something more … perfect, so I waited. And whilst I’ve been to plenty of butchers pushing their ham order sheets, I thought I’d sample them all before selecting the best of the best – a ham cured with something a little unexpected, something different, something a bit gourmet. Well, it turns out I should’ve just ordered the first ham I came across because I haven’t got around to completing my providore challenge.

It’s a bit like the perfect dress I was going to find, to look dead-set elegant at the party I haven’t managed to get the invitations out for. I was too busy at the gym in a last-ditch effort to get the legs I’d need for the dress I’d dreamt of wearing. And as for finalising all my business meetings, finishing my online shopping and having perfectly co-ordinated presents under the tree and easing into a well-planned holiday – well, it might be gift vouchers for everyone (again) this year. And I’m still cramming those meetings in, racing all over town desperately searching for parking spots!

So in my state of flustered rushing – I paused. I took a breath. I closed my eyes. I found an inner calm and looked into my very heart and soul.

And the perfect face of my nine-year-old son beamed back at me. And I thought about how much he’d grown, and what he’d achieved. I thought about my gorgeous crazy dog and how she can’t wait to plant her big kisses all over us, every single day. I thought about our darling horse who thinks stopping is overrated but loves a good cuddle. I thought about how we’d managed to scrape through another massive year, with love and happiness and laughter.

And I realised I had everything I needed for Christmas right there. In the love of my family – our odd collection of a child, a dog, a horse and a house – and I realised I couldn’t wish for one more thing. And I felt calm.

So I may not have a gourmet, smoked ham – we’ll go with sliced ham from the deli if we have to! I may not have creatively wrapped the perfect present to give – but I will give my love, my attention and my time to my family this Christmas.

I will celebrate with my son Nikolai and I will cherish making every day count and know that we will have these holidays as memories for the rest of our lives. And that, must be the greatest gift of all.

Merry Christmas to you all. May you stay safe, may you feel loved, and may you be happy this Christmas, and know that your love is the best gift you can give.

Abby x

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