"A wise Irish woman once told me that all lasting relationships should be built on a solid foundation of fun and sarcasm, a liberal sprinkling of alcohol, the occasional willingness to be inappropriate in the most unlikely of places, the ability to enjoy whatever pleasure takes your fancy, and finished off with a good splashing of shenanigans for everyone who still lives with hope in their heart and has still got much to be thankful for!
Whatever one's situation, however bad that things may get for us, every day of our lives we have something to be thankful for. We may be without gainful work, live rough or in unsuitable accommodation, even lack sufficient food, but as my mother used to say,' Billy, with a song in your heart, you can go on!'
Today, this loving couple in the photo were thankful that the photographer was behind them instead of coming to meet them face on. The day they first met and instantly fell in love seventy years earlier, they were determined to go on and live their life together.
For me, it is the arrival of another day and an opportunity to live that day that most pleases me. Since April 2013 when I learned I had terminal leukaemia, I have been blessed with family and friends and my beautiful wife and soul mate, Sheila. I have also been blessed with seeing out four more Christmases. I love Christmas; I'm a Christmas person through and through, and Christmas, 2017 represents another landmark for which I am truly thankful.
As we approach Christmas Day, my prayers remain with all who cannot find peace, comfort, contentment or happiness on this, the most sacred of all seasons. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and thank my wife, family and friends for all their support over the past year. However strong a person is or thinks they are, we are each made infinitely stronger facing the New Year when we don't have any need to ever stand alone, regret the past or fear our future. Merry Christmas everyone and God bless you all and your families this Christmas season. xxx." William Forde: December 16th, 2017.