Tag Archives: Christmas

Brighton Life

Sirena Bergman
Sirena Bergman

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Christmas. It is such a wonderful time of year. There’s no limit on how many treats you can eat; unless you’re unfortunate enough to work in retail you usually take your work holidays; then there’s the presents – as enjoyable to buy other people’s as it is to receive them; and, of course, the whole loving family gathering around a fireplace cliché, which brings me much non-sarcastic happiness. Then again, I do find that people are often very sad around Christmas. I know this is nothing new, it is notoriously the time of year which sees the most suicide attempts, but what is it about Christmas that depresses and yet elates people in equal measure?
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How To Have A Better Christmas

Local not-for-profit organisation Life² suggests that a better Christmas means spending less money, and doing more of the things that really matter to us. It is launching a one-day course and free booklet to help people have a happier and more meaningful Christmas.

These initiatives have come at an ideal time, with many UK households coping with rising levels of debt, while dealing with the increase in unemployment within the labour market.

On Saturday 27th November, Life² hosted a special one day workshop on ‘How to have a better Xmas’, in the Lewes Arms pub in Lewes. The workshop helped participants to explore their personal values and ideas of Christmas. The Life² courses are based on further developing upon the established ideas based within the website, such as reflection, compassion, relaxation, fun and sustainability. The one day workshops are designed to give participants an enjoyable and holistic experience, which in this event meant embedding the meaningful values of Christmas within their values.
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Brighton Life

Sirena Bergman
Sirena Bergman

Brighton is a summer town. One of those places where people go when it’s sunny and hot – well, Britain’s version of hot, ie slightly less freezing than usual – to sunbathe, buy overpriced candyfloss on the pier, have barbecues on the beach, romantically gaze at the stars with a loved one, or strut down West Street in absurdly tight dresses, because even Oceana in Brighton is way better than Oceana anywhere else.

In Spain, where I grew up, July and August do not tend to make people happy. It’s great for the holiday-makers, who live in air-conditioned hotel rooms with private pools, enjoying the novelty of stifling humid heat compared to the subdued UK summer they’re used to. When you live there, however, you have to go to work, do the housework, deal with family obligations and attempt to keep your body functioning despite the unpleasantly high temperatures. Having complained about enduring this for ten years, I can’t complain about our summers, where no matter how hot it gets, every evening requires a cardigan and where you will wake up the day after a heat wave to the sound of torrential rain. But for those of you who disagree and dream of retiring to a Caribbean island, I have to say you should first try spending a winter in Brighton.
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Community Spirt – it floweth over

On Saturday 19 December West Hill Hall hosted a funky evening of fun, food, fast music and wild dancing.

Patrick & Denise
Patrick & Denise
As ever, thanks go to Vinod and Meena for organising the event with help of Denise and Adrian Robins, Patrick, (erstwhile of Bright News) James and all the present staff. The food was fantastic, the music was provided by Stash, and talking of wild dancing,
Jiving Mr Mashru
here is Vinod Mashru and willing partner demonstrating just how it’s done. Is there no end to this man’s talents?

On Sunday 20 December West Hill Hall hosted a beautiful evening of midwinter candle-lit carols.

Candle-lit carols
Candle-lit carols

Eighty or so people of all ages from the local community, and beyond, ventured through the snow and ice to a warm, cosy and magical-looking Hall decorated with twinkling candles and fairy lights. Everyone, including babies and dogs, gathered around the piano and cello to sing carols such as Little Drummer Boy, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Little Donkey while sharing mulled wine and mince pies.

It is one of the most favourite events that I’ve attended at the Hall. Looking around with the lights twinkling, the rosy-cheeked community gathered around the piano singing their hearts out, and the aroma of mulled wine, I imagined it could have been another era. Totally magical stuff. George Duncan