Christmas message 2020

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

It would be the understatement of the year if I were to say that the last twelve months have been extremely challenging for us all. So, I won’t. In the last twelve months businesses have been destroyed, organisations stretched to breaking point, families and friendships put under pressure and responsible individuals have gone to extreme lengths to protect themselves and their communities. All of this was of course as a result of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.

A year ago, I had not even heard of COVID and today it has touched all of our lives. Since then Parliament has taken on many different forms and my working practices have been modified on an ongoing basis. This is true for the majority of us. It’s been a year like no other, but I don’t want to forget it, I want to learn from it. Looking to next year, I don’t want to take for granted being able to mix with family and friends. I want to appreciate travelling without restrictions and I want to greet friend and foe without fear of infection. At the start of every year we look forward to new beginnings and make plans to reduce our weight, exercise more and read more.

Next year’s resolutions may be a little different, reduce negativity, love more and care more. I can’t promise that 2021 will be a better year for you or me but whatever it throws at us, I hope we can rely on the comfort and support of our friends, family and community, many of which have shone through the storm that was 2020. I hope you find peace, love and understanding in the year ahead.