Is that all there is, is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is.


This is the chorus from an existentialist song made famous by Peggy Lee in 1969. Apparently, it was inspired by the 1896 story Disillusionment (Enttäuschung) by Thomas Mann.  It is written from the point of view of a person who is disillusioned with events in life that are supposedly unique experiences.  Christmas and New Year’s Eve are such events, I feel.  The expectations are so high.  Christmas must be full of joy and laughter and giving and loving and yet, sadly, it is not that for so many people on this earth.  I felt it such a privilege to have my family around me and to live in such a beautiful village which celebrates Christmas in a traditional and Christian way but I did think about those who have no family, the homeless, those who are chronically ill, those who lost or did lose loved ones during this period and those who live in war torn countries.   On a happier note I will now  recount the lovely village happenings over the last two weeks. On Tuesday, December 20 there were almost a hundred adults and twenty five children at the carol service in St George’s.  The church looked stunning in candlelight and the congregation and choir sang out the familiar carols.  Charlie Blair did a fine job with his solo part in a new carol written especially for the occasion.  On the afternoon of Wednesday, December 21 the children’s party went with a swing and the village hall was full of fun and laughter.  There were creative activities, games and party food.  Well done Helen Watson and her helpers. On Friday the rain cleared by 6.00pm and a good crowd gathered outside the Red Lion Inn.  The lantern bearers led the carollers  through the village.  Mulled wine and port was gratefully received at a couple of pit stops  and at the last venue, the Ferry Boat Inn.  Thanks to everyone who turned up and to the households who opened their doors and pockets.  Over £100 was raised for Dimbleby Cancer Care. There was a Christmas Eve Service well arranged by Paul Vincent and then on Christmas Morning many people managed to be in church by 9.15am and it was a lovely service taken by the Reverend Philip Luff.  The Dittisham Football Club Boxing Day Treasure Hunt was, as always, enjoyed by everyone.    This has now been going since the early eighties,  first arranged by Peter and Roz Ford but kept going entirely  thanks to the O’Flaherty Family.  Working out the cryptic clues and anagrams is hard enough but with a sore head…   Cryptic means ‘hidden, secret; unseen, mysteriously obscure’ and that about sums it up.  So, well done to the winners, Kaye and Dave Allen, but also commiserations as they have to do the clues for next  year.