I am writing to wish you a Happy Christmas, despite all that has gone on in these last twelve months. I don't think I can say that I understand what you have been playing at, if I'm honest, and there seems to be real possibility that in 2017 there will be more to come. Off the top of my head, I don't think I can name a national leader who inspires confidence by demonstrating leadership based on justice and mercy. Too many of them seem to be either tweeting stupidity or keeping their cards suspiciously close to their chests. The result is a sense of uncertainty about what lies ahead, and that is not very reassuring.
Whilst I am on a bit of a negative track, might I also point out that some of the suffering this last year has been as sickening as anything history has served up - and that's quite a high bar to reach. We hear about Aleppo and enough other places to be sure that there is more bad stuff that we don't hear about going on as well.
As you know there are moments that come around which fill me with such a tremendous sense of awe that I want to stop, take out my camera and try to record it, perhaps even just to remind me what a beautiful place you still have the potential to be.
I'll be off to Church shortly to celebrate Christmas, so I am not without hope in this matter, but would appreciate a few signs of encouragement on your part.