I’m used to beef bourguignon disappearing fast from my plate. The weekend? Gone in a flash. That blissful day nap? Over in a dribbly snort. On date nights, Mrs Blackwell never expects a prolonged… Er, no. Family show.

But has ever a whole year blitzed by like 2020?

Many might say good riddance. While the Blackwell and Sons team has ridden out the uncertainty (so far) in really good shape, we’re aware this has been a smelly year for lots of you. We wish you nothing but joy and good fortune from here on.

This fast-evaporating year has reinforced two things in my mind: even in challenging times the clock keeps on ticking, and, try as we might, we can never achieve total control over our destiny.

We can set goals, have ambitions, and plan ahead. Those are good things. But we shouldn’t be surprised when circumstances – be they a virus, an economic upheaval, or even a new opportunity – scramble the future we mapped out and upset the timetables we set.

What do we take from that?

For me, it means not being overly cautious or putting off doing the things that really matter to me. I’m not advocating recklessness, I’m just saying now is the hour, because stuff happens. The perfect time will probably never arrive.

That's hardly an original idea, but sometimes we need reminding.

Last weekend, Mrs Blackwell fulfilled a lifelong ambition by opening her own bookstore in Greytown village. Some might say that’s risky right now, but embracing a bit of risk is all part of the thrill of doing something truly worthwhile that brings pleasure and opportunity to others.

Opening weekend was outstanding. Mrs Blackwell is glad she decided to go for it. She will warmly embrace you (probably not in a physical sense, unless you're Blake Shelton) when you visit. Oh, and just in case you can’t visit, online sales will be available in the new year (she made me write that).

Speaking of physical embraces and the new year, go hug Nana this holiday season. Bask in the company of family, good friends and quality barbecue meats (they won’t last long) and make a resolution you can start on January 2nd, because…