What a year the world has had! For Marc and me here in Wales is has been perfectly bearable because we are lucky enough to live in a beautiful place, with our own land around us and plenty of walks from the door. Our local shops have all risen to the occasion by delivering food, and so we have hardly had to leave our own terrain. In an odd way we have almost enjoyed the enforced idleness and peace and quiet. without the usual run of visitors, But although on the surface we have been ok, for us as for so many, underneath there has been sadness and anxiety and a horrible grief as various friends and family members have passed away during the year, some from Covid and some from other causes.

I don’t quite know why but the whole situation, the total mismanagement of Covid by the UK government, my distress about the prospect of leaving the EU and the awful xenophobia that Brexit has brought to the surface in this country, has sapped my creativity and although I do have a nice idea for a new wartime series, I just haven’t so far felt like putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard!)

But now here we are at the end of the year, with 2021 just over the horizon. I wonder what it will bring. For now the situation in the UK is dire, the infections rate has got out of control, the deaths are rocketing again, the vast majority of people (including us) are locked down, and although the vaccines are becoming available it is going to take a lot of time for them to be rolled out successfully. But at least there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the lovely things that has happened for me this year is that I have received more than usual numbers of messages from readers saying that they have found reassurance and comfort from my books, that even in the darkest times people can find the strength and resilience to persevere and overcome.

Perhaps in 2021 the world will settle down again, the US elections have already brought some sanity, and there has been an upsurge of kindness in local communities worldwide. As was shown during the Second World War the situation has brought out the best in many people (although sadly not all!), and once again perhaps, if the good forces can prevail over the bad, we might be on the way towards building a kinder, more tolerant society. That at least would be my fervent hope. That is certainly what Winston Churchill hoped when he laid the foundations for a united Europe.

In the meantime I thank you all for your continued support, and wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Stay safe ….

Helen x

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