Welcome to 2019 and doesn’t the New Millennium now seem a long time ago?

If 2018 was a year of uncertainty in global politics and financial markets, let’s try to be optimistic for 2019. A Brexit withdrawal deal of some sort will be done because it’s in both sides’ vital interest to conclude one. It will go to the wire, as it always does and the wire might even be moved further down the track, even if our Prime Minister has to kiss Jean Claude Junker, poor thing, and shake hands with Jacob Rees Lost.

Then take a deep breath as it all starts all over again for the actual trade deal to be negotiated. As an optimist, your editor will be found fishing in Gibraltar. A China - America trade accord will be found for the same reason, especially as the US Presidential Election cycle will be starting all over  again and the US economy will need to be kept in good condition if Mr T hopes to win again while avoiding a stay in Alcatraz.  Even here in Waltham St Lawrence, life will serenely go onwards after our parish council elections in May (no not that one) will hopefully provide continuity and we shall see the opening of the nature reserve and play area. If you want to stand for election to the parish council, an information session is scheduled for Wednesday 27th Feb 2019 at 6pm at the Town Hall Maidenhead, which you can attend. In the words of the fab four, “Obladi Oblada life goes on brahhh, Lala how the life goes on”.

Your Lych Gate editor might have been dreaming, when for a moment he felt that revolutionary turmoil had arrived in the parish along Shurlock Road, in that a certain Jilly Jeans was rioting in protest at the works in hand to construct the new nature reserve. After passing the works it’s quite likely that somebody had confused the hi-vis yellow workers’ jackets with the ‘Gilets Jeunes’ so in fashion across La Belle France these days as (we want your fish) President Macron sinks slowly in the West, unlike the Sun King he first appeared to want to be. “Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose”, as they say over there.

Our cover for this month is enlivened by a wonderful Dick Budden creation produced for The Theatre Royal, Windsor’s pantomime Dick Whittington, whose cat has been replaced by the comical fox in this season’s production. One might imagine Her Majesty wearing a discrete smile from happy memories of the inimical Basil Brush as she approached her Berkshire home before heading off to Sandringham to illuminate the new Duchess of Sussex concerning this famous British fox’s provenance. Basil, on the other hand. might wonder what some of the family’s forebears might have done to some of his relatives. Boom Boom!

Nick Kendal