The weather may be a bit chilly in Blighty, and morale low with many workers on strike but friends tell me that the party must go. As postmen, train workers and nurses joined picket lines, demanding more pay and better conditions, most Britons gritted their teeth, kept calm and carried on. While the government advised not doing anything dangerous or risky during the strikes, as there’d be no one to help should an accident occur, people appear to have shrugged and just got on with life.

I was amazed this week to receive Christmas cards from the UK even though some had only been posted a few days ago. Does that mean that cheery elves have taken over the post rooms and are giving Santa a helping hand? Even better if they can help man NHS hospitals and learn to drive trains. Britons can but hope.

And while chaos reigns, there is some good news. It seems that the stop oil protestors have downed tools and left the streets of UK cities free of their presence. A reason to be cheerful. What other chirpy news? Well, Meghan and Harry’s documentary series has just about come to an end, another reason for Britons to breathe a sigh of relief. Harry’s tedious autobiography, Spare, is shortly to hit the shelves but at least over the festive season there will be a little respite for M&H-weary Brits, and the Royals, for that matter.

Jeremy Clarkson in the naughty chair

Despite furious headlines and mutterings from the majority of the UK press about Meghan and Harry, only one man has spent months on end, on a seriously vengeful anti-Meghan Marke crusade and that has been maverick TV presenter and journalist, Piers Morgan. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Duchess of Sussex sits at home in her enormous LA mansion crafting wax dolls of the unstoppable detractor. However, Morgan is not alone in his loathing of the duchess. Jeremy Clarkson, notorious troublemaker, driving legend and admired promoter of all things blokey, has gone as far as to say he hates the woman on a cellular level. Furthermore, Clarkson cheerily suggested that he dreamt of Meghan Markle being paraded naked through the streets of Britain while being pelted with excrement from an angry public.

One of his employers, ITV, immediately had to issue a statement condemning his words while at the same time saying that the channel would not be stopping his contract for presenting Who wants to be a millionaire. In other words, they won’t lose a presenter who tops the ratings. As polemic grew, there were calls in some quarters to charge Clarkson with a hate crime but the police have wisely shrugged that off, claiming that it doesn’t really constitute such a thing. In truth, Clarkson is probably revelling in the publicity and enjoying goading the police and Meghan Marke’s international posse of PRs so better to dampen the flames. If poor old Meg isn’t careful she’ll soon have Morgan and Clarkson, the terrible twins, on her back, pouncing on her every word and move. I hope she’s got broad shoulders, for her sake.

Skiving from the desk

Here we are just a few days before Christmas and I’m still manically tapping away at the keys, trying to finish deadlines before I can finally stop work and dare to take a few days break. It feels utterly decadent and I won’t believe it until it happens. The concept of taking a whole day off is as alien to me as having tea with milk and so I’m not sure that the family will be able to prevent me from peeking at the computer or iPhone. I will do my best to focus on having a relaxed time with them because it is a whole year since we all got together and such a rarity needs to be celebrated. Our son is working over Christmas which is a blight on the celebrations, but he promises to visit in January so that will be something to look forward to.

Meanwhile, my latest book has happily taken flight and I am busy putting the finer touches to the plot of the next in the series. I begin it for real in January after a few months break from book writing and will also be steering my first audiobook, returning to London to oversee that in February so lots of fun hopefully ahead.

So, all I have left to do, is to wish all of you, dear readers, a wonderful Christmas break and festive holiday full of fun, mischief, overindulgence and good cheer. I look forward to bringing in the New Year with you, at least virtually, in the weeks to come!