20 June 2024

There’s not long to go now!

By the time you read this, you’ll probably have about two full shopping days before the big day – if you’re not all sorted yet, that is.

I think you’d have to be braver than me to head into the city centre or the big supermarkets at this time of year, as it’ll probably be utter chaos. So, why not head down your local high street instead for any last-minute bits?

A stone’s throw from us here at the Gazette, for instance, an intriguing new shop has just opened up (see below), selling all sorts of Japanese- themed gifts that are apparently the in thing among younger people (but, hey, what would I know… I’m getting reminded almost daily about stuff I used to like when I was young now being 30 years old, such as Wayne’s World). There’s also Wizards of Withernsea, which is right next door to us and has all sorts of fantasy-themed gifts as well as candles, crystals, incense, that sort of thing. If you’re still looking to pick up stocking fillers, do try to shop local – now more than ever, it will be massively appreciated by small business owners putting back into their local economy.

I managed to pick up Covid again last week, but fortunately it was nowhere near as bad as the first time I had it, back in March. Suspect Number One was the young lady sitting next to me on the packed train home after I’d been for a night out with friends in Newcastle – non-stop coughing her head off and snivelling all the way from Durham to York, where, thankfully, we escaped to change trains. I mean, I could have caught the virus anywhere, I know, but I was somewhat fuming – surely if you’re that ill, stay at home! You can at least try not to infect other people.

I know that there are no restrictions any more and people can do what they like, but when I started feeling a bit funny I took a test, and once I knew I had Covid, I stayed in. Whisper it quietly, but I kind of enjoyed the enforced period of house arrest. Ironically, I felt I had a bit more headspace to rest, relax and think about plans for Christmas, and I was only positive for a few days so, thankfully, it didn’t interfere with the business end of putting this week’s paper together.

Our family Christmas will likely be a bit of a muted affair. We’re due to have family round at ours, but at the time of writing my 94-year-old Nan is still in Hull Royal Infirmary. We weren’t even sure whether she’d still be with us at all for Christmas, so what the next few days will bring, I really don’t know. All I do know is that she’s a total legend and we’ll miss her if she’s not there!

This will be a difficult year for many, no doubt. In a way I hope it makes people focus on family, kindness and togetherness as opposed to the more commercial aspects of Christmas.

All of us here send you all our very best wishes for a merry Christmas. See you on the other side…