The Riserdrummer Christmas Message 2014

Well, it’s that time of year again, when Christmas messages raise their heads over social and broadcast media. Never being one to break with tradition, here are my thoughts as we approach the season.

First of all, I’d like to forestall any comments from the usual suspects about acting like a Queen. I can assure you there’s no diamante and tiaras in my wardrobe – at least not just now. But just as HM Liz’s message always harks back to the year past and forward to the year ahead, so mine does as well.

Last year’s Christmas message ( was one of emerging from challenges and a determination to push forward into new things, with the key phrase being this:

Life isn’t always smooth, some times the roller coaster goes up and down a bit quicker than is comfortable, but it isn’t what life throws at you that matters, it’s what you allow to stick. Choose what to allow into your life and what to shrug off.

That has once again been the theme of this year.

My family has seen some tragedies, with the sad passing of our lovely neighbour Fred early in the year, and then my Aunt Grace and my Uncle Andrew in October. Happening as they did within a week of each other, this was a very sad time, but one filled with memories of some special people. One of the lovely things to come from Grace’s funeral was when talking to our family from Dover, who all said they didn’t appreciate just how much we all thought of Grace. It’s brought us all that bit closer together, and whilst there it was wonderful to see my father and his brother chatting, as their relationship had been distant for some years. Good things can come from sad times. And we had decided to shrug off the oppression of grief and sadness, and allow the happiness and joy that Grace’s life embodied to cover us all.

Life has also seen some new starts. We have new neighbours, which still sometimes feels a little strange, but it’s great to make new friends. I’ve embarked on a career of amateur acting, having performed in two very different productions this year. I’ve loved getting to be someone other than myself for a while – it’s a new challenge and one I hope to continue next year. And musically, we’ve played some pretty great events – it’s wonderful to be part of Riser, getting to be at so many parties and weddings!

Friends have also seen some major changes and adventures, with new babies, new homes and new careers, plus several going on trips around the world, posting back pictures of amazing scenes that I’m really not that jealous about. Honestly…

And so on to 2015. What’s next year going to have in store for me, for US? Who knows? One thing I am sure of, is that the same attitude and approach that has seen me through this year will carry me on through the next. With the love of family and friends, a faith in God that underpins all I do, and a determination to choose what to carry with me and what to leave behind, 2015 is a step into the sunshine.

So, as this year comes to a close, I leave you with this thought….

May Christmas 2014 find you all well, warm, happy and loved, may the spirit of Christmas fill your heart and mind with joy, and may you have ample opportunity to share that joy with all those closest to you.


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