New year is a time to wipe the slate clean '“ Verity Lush

New Year. A time of resolutions, of new beginnings, of a clean slate with which to work.

Friday, 28th December 2018, 9:49 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:05 am
Druids perform a Samhain-style blessing ceremony at Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

Mentally, the start of a new and fresh year is so cleansing. Whether you make resolutions or not (I tend not to, if I'm honest), and whatever form  those may take, the new year still provides us with a clearing away of the old.

Many years ago when I was training to become a teacher, I went along to observe a pagan festival, Samhain, with a friend.

This signified the beginning of a new pagan year and the ending of the old, and everyone going '“ p agan or not '“ was encouraged to take with them something to throw into the bonfire.

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Something from the previous year that they wanted to get rid of.

This didn't have to be an actual physical something that you no longer wanted.

Instead, it was more about bringing something that symbolised or signified whatever it was that you didn't wish to carry with you any longer.

I had written down things on a piece of paper and tucked it inside a little matchbox, and this was what I threw into the fire.

I'd had a difficult year, following the breakdown of a relationship, and much of the emotional residue of that went down on my piece of paper.

The physical act of then throwing it into a fire and watching it curl into itself, a tiny ball of flame, consumed by fire before disappearing, was incredibly cathartic.

Obviously I am not suggesting that you have to go and build a bonfire posthaste and chuck stuff in it, but this physical disposal of mental and emotional rubbish, can be a therapeutic exercise in mindfulness, preparing us for the year to come, and putting a stop to any mental anguish we may wish to cease torturing ourselves with.

Hopefully, you are entering the new year with a spring in your step, intentions that are wonderful, and plans that all come to fruition.

I wish you a healthy, a happy, and an all-round fabulous 2019.

Here's to it being your year.


If you use your phone at the wheel, it's time to go cold turkey

 I am pretty sure that when I was a kid, we all assumed people would be sporting jet packs and flying to work by the year 2019.Instead of course we're all too busy staring at a variety of different screens to even take the time out to look up from the pavement while we walk.

The number of numpties I've recently seen using their phones while driving has been bonkers. Why would you do this? If you are doing this, stop it!

The sheer fact that people have lost their children through this, or lost their mothers, or their daddies, or their siblings, should surely be enough to make you stop?

Now there's a resolution idea if you're a phone-at-the-wheelaholic: give it up.

Christmas is over '“ go cold turkey.


How should we reduce Christmas rubbish? Eat it?

I am writing this slightly in advance of festivities so I will not know until it goes to print what happened this Christmas with the Tiny New Black Bins and three bag policy that the council has given us.


Over Christmas, what are large families supposed to do? Eat their rubbish? You can recycle all you like, but when the amount of food that's consumed at Christmas does come in packaging '“ and not packaging that you yourself have chosen to pop it in at the factory '“ then you're a bit stuck.

Yes you can drive to the tip. Imagine the queues to get in. Imagine the exhaust fumes. Even more pollution, just a different kind.

I can't help but think that an increase in vile fly-tipping may be the result.