Christmas 2021

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In the waning hours of this calendar year – the second year into the global event that shall not be named – this epistle comes to you from deep within the heart. This year’s Dear Friend Open Letter wrapping up the Christmas Message for 2021 and welcoming the New Year of 2022 is one that closes on a wistful yet hopeful note, brought to you by the colour blue. Here goes …



Dear Friend,

Tonight, as this year winds down, I serenely sit and listen to the whispering wind as it caresses all in passing. Here at the beach I can hear the waves crashing against the shore creating the gift of brine tinted air that tantalises the senses. What a wonderful way to celebrate the ending of one cycle and the beginning of the next. Where I sit right at this moment I can see the waves sparkling in random flashes as the harbour lights cascade across the surface of the water.

That this epistle finds you and yours all in good health, great cheer, and celebrating in the spiritual tradition of your family, is my deepest wish.

This year, has been one of many mixed and varied blessings. Very little has followed the plans that I had at the beginning of the year and yet I feel as though I have accomplished more this year than in the previous 3 years.

As always family has been in mind, every single day, especially my sons and more recently my Father, who sadly passed away just 4 days ago.

For many years I have loved the song The Three Bells as performed by The Browns, originally a French song, Les trois cloches. I also discovered the beautiful performance by Tina Arena of Les trois cloches, in French.

I find solace and comfort in these songs. The cycles of birth, life and death, the human condition and our spiritual nature, are matters of deep faith for me. And so I have been listening to these tunes many times in the last week and a half as my Father slowly left this Earth and finally breathed his last.

Rest In Peace Dad.




This year, my eldest son turned 18. He is now legally an adult, and as a young adult is filled with energy and ambition and plans for his future. The world is his oyster. Also, he graduated high school this year; I am so very proud of what he has accomplished and the gentle man that he is.

My younger son turned 16 and he too is very much a source of pride. The teenage years thus far have been a bit of a challenge for him on some levels, but his tenacity and strength of character stand him in very good stead.

I love both of my sons with all my heart.   

From the public life side of things:

White FlowerThis year my designing has very much taken a back seat as I worked on other things (specifically food deliveries with two global companies who shall not be named) to try and ride out the financial crisis of the pandemic.

Great success was achieved in that endeavour but it also came at an enormous cost to my health and happiness. I have a lot to say about that experience, and many thoughts on what could be done better; another forum it will be for that discussion to be done.

White FlowerThis year, the podcasts also took a back seat whilst ever remaining at the front of mind… video is still a dream…

Tomorrow is a new day.

White FlowerThe middle of the year saw the implementation of new shopping cart software. Yay! The cart setup is mostly complete, a number of how-to-guides have been written, although there are still a few glitchy things happening. Logins are problematic for some reason … troubleshooting next week.

Having said that, the Design Shop is now also loaded with curated externally sourced products specifically selected for digital scrapbookers and scrapbookers generally. This is the monetisation phase of the website so that there is a supportive base to launch and grow the product offerings.

Also, planning workshops, although these will have to wait until we have a little more certainty about whether or not there will be any future lockdowns.

Changing topic back to the Design Shop for a moment:

Have you ever felt absolutely, completely and utterly, ridiculously happy when you finally achieved a little milestone?

That’s exactly how I feel right at this minute.

You ask “Why?” And my answer is simple: because I recently added a few Apple products to the Design Shop after discovering that Apple have an outlet via Amazon. PLUS Dell products too. Wow!

You can read more about that in the newsletter

Oh, and I tweaked the colour scheme here on the website a little… gotta love this year’s colour.

White FlowerLearning how to write well has been a bit of a priority for a while and this year has seen some gains in that department. I have a much better handle on what to say in a post and how to say it than I did this time last year.


White FlowerMy vehicle, aka my classic Toyota TownAce, my Lady Lusso, she has had a bit of a mechanical overhaul this year and I have to give special thanks to the amazing team at Scarboro Toyota for the special care that they gave my vehicle.

Amazing. Thank you! 

The dream to have Lady Lusso restored and repainted is well in hand and my vision of creating a bunch of digiscrap inspired decals to adorn her with is getting closer.

Metallic red with stark white decals and specially sculpted overlays …

My crazy dream for a macro-scrapbooking project on my van is now officially a plan. Stay tuned!

White FlowerChanging topic again: Christmas Day this year was fabulous.

My older son and I had a beautiful picnic lunch overlooking the beach.

We had a lovely gazebo that I bought and glamped up a little with a gorgeously soft picnic rug and some cushions, protected from assorted flying menaces by an almost invisible mesh inner tent.

We had grissini and blue cheese dip garnished with cracked pepper and black truffle, succulent roasted lamb in a garlic rosemary jus with smashed vegetables, and chocolates galore!

It was a stiflingly hot day at over 43°C in the shade and the chocolates all melted into puddles but we had the best time nonetheless.

If we do a picnic lunch like that again it will be on a cooler day and I have plans for more glam to really make it special.


In closing, last year my 2021 New Years ownWORD was PROSPER. Despite all the set backs I have endured this year due to health – oh and that global thingy people keep talking about – I have definitely prospered this year. And in more ways than the simple tangible ways that I thought possible this time last year.

Right now I have less than $2 in the bank, a few things in storage, a van with only just a teensy bit more than a whiff of petrol left in the tank and a couple of days of food. So how did I prosper?

A couple of thoughts immediately spring to mind:

Throughout my adult life I have striven to work hard, often with little or no pay. I have done thousands of hours of volunteer work, I have home educated my children, I have worked on my business so that it will support me in the future. I have also striven to do the right thing in my life and in the community, especially recently through my food delivery work during lockdowns (Proverbs 11:11 kinda springs to mind).

All through this time, with either little or no income, there was an almost unconscious thread of jealousy that others are doing better than me financially. This year I conquered that unflattering concern with what others are achieving in their bank accounts.

THAT is attaining true prosperity in community spirit, in charity and in wisdom.

During 2021, I have prospered!

So on the foundations of all the many ways within which I have prospered this year, for next year, 2022, the new year coming … my ownWORD is FLOURISH.


The finished Digital Scrapbook Layout, ownWORD 2022, with my focus word for the year ahead: FLOURISH


This time next year, again, I plan on posting that I bought a home during the year … I missed that target this year because I was dreadfully ill so many times and unable to work. No work, no pay; no pay, no home deposit.

Next year is my year! I OWN 2022.

How have your holidays been? Did you write a Christmas 2021 Dear Friend letter? Have you chosen an ownWORD for your New Year? What is it? I would dearly love to know; post in the comments.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

With much love, light and brightest blessings.



PS: Being a van dweller due to difficult circumstances sometimes sucks, but getting to park at the beach every night and breathing the glorious salty air … PRICELESS … … … … that is all.


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