Joyce Lucas: Band Aid is relevant, 30 years on

Midge Ure, 31 of the Rock Group Ultravox, who with Bob Geldof wrote the Band Aid single 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', spraying a message on a water tanker at Gatwick Airport.  PA/PA Photos.
Midge Ure, 31 of the Rock Group Ultravox, who with Bob Geldof wrote the Band Aid single 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', spraying a message on a water tanker at Gatwick Airport. PA/PA Photos.

Phew that’s over for another year. Advent, Christmas and the New Year is a very busy time.

I attended four carol services in seven days but every single one was a delight in their own special way.

Botanic Garden, Wales.

Botanic Garden, Wales.

The best sermon, and only 10 minutes long, was delivered by The Revd Canon Alison Adams, Diocese and Cathedral Social Responsibility Enabler and Community Management at Leicester Cathedral for the Provincial Carol Service attended by Freemasons of the Province of Leicestershire and Rutland. A powerful ten minutes on the theme of Bob Geldof’s and Midge Ure’s ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’. This song was released thirty years ago and its lyrics are more relevant today than ever. The chorus, of course, is ‘Feed the World’

Another was the wonderful Christmas Concert by Catmose College. The Bargain Nativity put a new slant on the old story. It was actually hilarious, and the music provided by all sections including instrumentalists and choirs was unbelievable. Thank you so much for inviting me.

It has been a momentous run up to the festivities with terrible flooding in Cockermouth, the first official UK pilot blasting off into space, Parliament allowing fracking in National Parks and the debate on climate change in Paris. It does make me wonder what the future holds. We all must do our bit, not just large powerful nations. Wind, solar and wave power must play its part and we can, as individuals do much to help. Change our light bulbs to low energy, insulate our homes, lower the temperature in our home by a small amount, use public transport or walk instead of getting the car out all the time.

I spent four days with a botanist/ecologist over Christmas. We talked about the environment, staying or not staying in the EU and modern farming methods. It was an interesting encounter. I also spent time at the Botanic Garden in Wales, pictured. It is good to view this area in as many seasons as possible to mark the changes. I met many people who were willing to talk about everything and anything from climate change to various counties being annexed from others.

I mentioned earlier modern farming methods. I also watched our very own High Sheriff Mr Andrew Brown talking on Country File explaining how he took part in the Great British Bird Watch for Farmers and how he is combating the fall in field bird population. I hope that in the near future I will be walking the North West Ward with him to show him how Oakham ‘ticks’. This will not be the usual public Ward Walk, that will be later in the year, but more to give him an insight into life in Oakham.

And now for my alphabet.

The letter K.

K is for...Karate and Kick-boxing. In this day and age it is good to know how to defend yourself. It is a fact of life. However, Karate is about defending NOT about aggression. There are lots of classes in Rutland, so why not find out more about this subject.

K is for...Knit and Natter. These groups have sprung up across the county in recent years. The Oakham group gives a great deal back to the community by way of friendship. They also donate a lot of their finished work to charity. Contact Helen Outen (01572 771483) or read the Rutland Times listing pages for other groups.

K is for...Kerb appeal. This means attending to your immediate environment. We can all do our bit but here a few suggestions.

1. Create a garden at the front of your house…a window box or hanging basket will suffice if space is limited.

2. Keep your area free of weeds and litter (and that includes businesses in the centre of town).

3. Sweep roadside gutters.

4. Cut your area of grassed verge

5. Clean any roadside sign near you.

Go on you know it makes sense.

And finally.

Remember the best antiques are old friends.

Happy New Year.