Merry Christmas!

I believe I speak for everyone when I say that this year will definitely be remembered. And let’s just leave it there, shall we? Christmas will obviously be very quiet, but packages have started to arrive in the post and plans to meet up on video are being firmed up. There’s a small turkey in the freezer, along with pigs in blankets, different ends of bread for stuffing, cranberries, and some lovely peat-smoked salmon from Hebridean Smokehouse to remind us of Scotland.

Drinks include a bit of champagne and some peaty whiskey (damn you, Ron Swanson!), because although we have had one hell of a year, lately we have a lot to celebrate. We keep postponing the actual clinking of glasses and general whooping, hollering and jumping up and down, and so I figure we’ll just fold all the good stuff into Christmas Day. We’re efficient like that. It sure beats the heck out of our drawn-out springtime panic — when most of our work dried up and our long-held dreams and plans seemed to be as fragile as a soap bubble.

The main good news is that we were approved in October for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. It’s also called ‘Settled Status’ and that is how I am starting to feel. Settled.

Other good things are starting to flow from this knowledge that we can stay. We love Leeds and we love that we have made it our home. I’m looking forward to better days, when I can ramble around the city centre, feeling like I have the world on a string.

I was in town last Saturday for an appointment and on the way home I passed Leeds Playhouse and well, I think it says it all.

Merry Christmas everyone! Be safe, be well, and we’ll muddle through somehow. Better days are coming. I’m looking forward to dancing at weddings, kissing new babies, and giving out hugs.