When you haven’t done something for a while, beginning is somehow harder. So, without much of an idea how else to begin, I will wish anyone reading this a very happy Christmas. And also to extend my gratitude for anyone who has read any of these posts, whether or not you related to any of the sentiments expressed.

I find myself writing today in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful and unique parts of the world, the Sheep’s Head peninsula in West Cork. With compulsory festive glass of bubbles in hand, and with a very hazy view of the sea through the rain-streaked glass of the conservatory, I still feel that it is nothing short of incredible that I find myself in this hidden corner of the earth. It’s the place where I met my future husband, and so many other great friends….many of whom were singing loudly together in Eileen’s pub last night! A very wise philosopher who I admire deeply advises that; the most important time is now, the most important person is the one in front of you, and the most important way to behave is with compassion. I don’t think I always achieve that but think it is sound advice which I would like to be able to emulate.

I’m sure I’m not the only person with family on the other side of the world this Christmas, but I do believe that being together physically is not what is important. Love can bridge any geographical (or, may I suggest, metaphysical) distance.

So finally, I just want to say that this blogging experiment has been fulfilling in so many ways. I broke through something very deep; my self-consciousness, by posting these messages into cyberspace. And the encouragement I received from people who have read them has been overwhelming. It confirms to me that no matter our differences, we all share a common humanity and desire for happiness which is the same irrelevant of background, race, likes or dislikes. I was speaking to a dear friend who is an artist the other night and we agreed that successful creative people are those who believe that they deserve to be. If I can do any small thing, I want to encourage all of us, to keep persevering in the struggle to reveal our inner potential. The way it is expressed will be unique to all of us, but the first step to discovering it, is simply to believe that it exists.

So happy Christmas to my friends far and wide. And if you thought this was overly sentimental, just be glad I wrote it before another few glasses of bubbly.