Christmas is upon us once again, although as the shops seem to be stocked with tinsel since about October, I feel that these days we get a longer run-in than in years past.
I have already been to a number of Christmas fayres in the Buckingham constituency, and I have to take care to avoid overindulging in the mince pies.
This year has been a busy one for me as the Member of Parliament for the Buckingham constituency.
The campaign against HS2 continues apace, but there have also been a number of smaller (size wise) issues causing concern, specifically the smattering of wind farm applications that have been put in across the area. Understandably, most (if not all) residents oppose the erection of these structures, not least because – as has sensibly pointed out to me – our area has many things to commend it but it isn’t the Scottish Highlands and a couple of wind turbines are not really going to produce very much in terms of energy.
This is not to say, of course, that I am against renewables, but they have to be sited in a way that is sensitive to other considerations, such as the impact they will have on the appearance of the area and how residents feel about them.
As well as these campaigns, 2013 has featured the usual constituency advice surgeries, meetings and visits.
It is hugely stimulating of course, not all battles are won, but I always try to do what I can to help where I can and I anticipate more of the same in 2014 as well as new challenges for our area.
When December draws to a close, there is always a sense of things coming to an end and the news of the death of Nelson Mandela has exacerbated this feeling, at least for me. He was a truly inspirational figure who changed the course of history not just for South Africa, but also for the world.
In spite of the sadness of his passing, I think that the message of hope that can be taken from his life will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come.
In the meantime, I am looking forward to spending the Christmas period with my family.
May I take this opportunity to extend to readers my best wishes for a happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.