Document Type

News Article

Publication/Presentation Date

Winter 2020


It has been a strange year!

I got to spend 10 weeks in Switzerland staying with my son to help him prepare to move back to Britain. It was a real privilege to live in another country, not as a visitor but as a temporary resident in that lovely country. I shopped locally as well as in supermarkets, I bought wine from a local ‘cave’ made from grapes grown on the hills behind our house. Local people stopped and talked to me while I was tidying up the garden. My French improved! On Saturdays, we walked to a boulangerie to buy breakfast - croissants and pain au chocolate, freshly baked on the premises. And we thoroughly enjoyed the two things Switzerland does best – cheese and chocolate! And, although there were Covid restrictions, we managed to take some time out to see a few sights. And we worked very hard preparing for the move.

All this made me think that the cadets must have felt something similar when they came to America for their training. All those I have spoken to told me that they felt so privileged and fortunate to be selected to be sent to Florida and they all took wonderful memories home. They also took home a liking for new foods – perhaps quite difficult in wartime Britain. My father would always have tomato ketchup on meals; he drank ‘Coke’ and never felt that British beefburgers matched up to America hamburgers.

But now the vaccine is here – and in the UK, the vaccination programme starts tomorrow! Maybe we can start to be just a little bit hopeful that we are about to turn the Covid corner and that 2021 will be a better year than 2020 has been. So many people have died prematurely and so many lives have been disrupted in 2020. Families have been unable to meet, hugs are almost a thing of the past, and when out, masked people are trying not to get too close to other masked people! So, wherever you are in the World, it can only get better in 2021!

And so, to everyone, I send Season’s Greetings using the words of Gerry Beardsmore, 5BFTS Chairman from 1998 to 2005:
“From me and mine to you and yours, Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and Health and Happiness and Peace in the New Year”



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