Paul Rabbitts    

Park Manager, Parks Historian, Author & Public Speaker


Merry Christmas from a Grumpy man and roll on 2016

Posted on 23 December, 2015 at 9:20

So sat listening to yet another Xmas song on the radio - its on all the time in the office (John Lennon / Yoko Ono seems most popular). I always start feeling festive around about now. I hate the shopping aspect of it and the blind panic in people's faces. Its one day of the year. Anyway, people off, emails down to single figures and looking forward to a few things:-


  • Time off - a long break in between as we close down at WBC so its about a week off in total
  • Time with the family too. Walking my adorable dog
  • Enjoying my new house - having just moved to a fabulous 1840s house with so much space, I have not had a lot of time to enjoy it
  • Time to start a new book too - Book No. 9 is developing too
  • Time to draw up my bucket list for 2016. I didn't do one for 2015 and regret it as it was my 50th year
So what kind of year has it been? Not one to dwell on the negatives, its been a challenging one with illness I have not coped with too well and knocked a whole chunk out of the summer. This helped - worth a look and sent to me by a friend, and I read this too which was brilliant. A short stay in holiday too on another issue was agonising. Mrs R hasn't been too well either but again, on the mend. The moving house was hell and I will never do myself ever again.
But a year that brought many lovely new memories - a fantastic holiday in Italy (Umbria / Tuscany) - Siena, Florence, Cortona, Pisa were simply incredible. The house we had was idyllic. We found Charlie, our amazing 6 year old Westie from Battersea Dogs Home who has changed our home totally. We absolutely love him. I had my 50th birthday - it passed quietly but glad I have reached the milestone. We moved to New Road and whilst horrendously expensive to rent, it is a wonderful house and home. My children have excelled and exceeded this year. Ashley at Greenwich Uni and Holly at Middlesex Uni, both now in year 2  and I am so so proud of them. Then my youngest Ellie moved to Upper School and she too is just excelling. Sports and music is her thing and she just keeps on running. Again so proud of her.

So to move on to 2016 - whats ahead? Looking forward to my 8th book being published in June, Cassiobury Park Restoration on site, Bandstands projects taking off, seeing my kids succeed, better health - running again in January ! - less stress - hence the running, back to Mallorca this year, more train journeys to work rather than sitting in traffic, Nandos with the family ( I do like a Nandos), seeing ELO in April at the O2, and so much more I hope.

Don't get stressed this Christmas, enjoy the time off, its only one day. Enjoy Downton Abbey on Christmas Day.... and remember, "Don't let the bells end"



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