MILD WEATHER: There’s been much comment on the extraordinarily mild weather of recent weeks, and its visible effects on plant and animal life. In a local pear orchard Barbara Dawson has noticed many trees coming into blossom some 3 months early, with honey bees already on the wing. In one area indeed some of the blossom has already been pollinated and little pears are just beginning to form. Can anyone remember this ever happening in December before? Some older people do remember that the prolonged very cold spell that began in February 1947 was preceded by a December that was nearly as mild as this one is. If so, could we be in for another very cold spell later on this winter? Unlikely, given recent trends, but possible nevertheless.

CHURCH SERVICES: In St Mary’s this evening (Christmas Eve) Midnight Mass will begin at 11.30pm, followed by Family Eucharist at 11.15am on Christmas Day.

This Sunday there will be a service of Holy Communion at 8am: one of the darkest mornings and shortest days of the year, but it’s nice to think that from now on mornings will very gradually get a little lighter and sunsets a little later every day.

GREETINGS: Very best wishes to all readers of this column for a happy and peaceful Christmas!

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