Dear Reader

As the New Year approaches, I would like to extend a thank you to all who have contributed with news or articles featured in Village Connect during 2011. A special thank you goes to Sally Thornton who, for the past five years, has enthralled us with her fascinating articles on precious metal, gemstones and the art of jewellery making - they shall be missed! In with the new will be features from around the world by independent travel advisor Susan Pentelow, who will give travel advice and preferential rates to readers of Village Connect. See her first article on Canada on page 24.

Amid constant reminders of recession, eurocrisis and increased unemployment, it becomes even more important to focus on the nearest and dearest and take pleasure in nature and in making things with our own hands. Many of us will take up new hobbies or revisit old ones in the new year and you will no doubt be inspired by reading about making cushion covers on pages 44-45 or how the Spinning School took up a challenge to help Berber women spin cashmere on pages 102-103.

You could use 2012 to make a real difference to someone, become a befriender, see pages 104-105, or a foster parent for some of the many children looking for a home, see pages 90-91. Anne Widdup explains on page 60 how best to break habits and make changes that will last, and the feature on Nagarjuna in Kelmarsh on pages 56-57 could point you to inner peace.

An eventful year awaits Britain, with a Diamond Jubilee and London 2012. The Olympic torch will be right on our doorstep, visiting Isham and Geddington on 2nd July; something to look forward to in the darkest months. Snowdrops gracing the front cover are messengers of brighter times ahead, a light reminder that spring is just around the corner. Deene Park and Kelmarsh Hall both have Snowdrop Sundays in February, pages 27 and 117, and details on Harrington’s Snowdrop Walk can be found on pages 106-107.

On this note, may I wish you a happy and healthy 2012 - love and light!


Vivi Sant Cole 

Village Connect

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