From the Principality of Wales I send my very best wishes for Christmas to you all on this winter solstice day of 2016. The sun is overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn today, so from now on it gets lighter and warmer all the way to the next cricket season. Thinking of which, it’s a shame our brave and heroic boys in white got so soundly humped in India in the last few weeks. Nice people, Indians, but when it comes to cricket they can be tricky. Without doubt, they are worthy number ones.

Last night in the pub the musicians turned up. Then came Mari Lloyd, a skull, in this case a horse’s skull, atop a small person with a sheet round her (him?). She was accompanied by two Welsh pipers, very nice. They asked the landlord’s permission to enter, which was granted on condition they sang some songs and generated a bit of good cheer. This keeps the pub safe over the winter. Fair enough. And a jolly good time was had by all. Nice people, the Welsh.

I’ll be at home for the Scottish Hogmanay, and you’ll see on The Walks page that I’m doing a couple of turn-up-and-go tours. Come if you can, you’re welcome.