Who is this standing by the Stokesay Court Christmas tree? After her hugely successful exhibition at Stokesay, and you will see a couple more photos of it on this blog, my niece, Iona, packed up the paintings and got ready to head back to London. Before she left she had one last task to perform - helping me decorate the tree ready for Christmas. Time never stands still here at Stokesay and we have not drawn breath between one thing and another. Now Christmas is only a couple of days away - something which I am sure many people can relate to…. We have put our tree up in the entrance hall this year to welcome people coming to visit and make them smile - as it does me when I come through the doors on these cold and grey winter days and dark nights. Christmas cards and letters have arrived from friends and family - far faster and more efficiently than I have been able to send them out - and I am penning this blog when I really should be wrapping presents. So the main message of the blog should be condensed at this time to wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2014.