Welcome to the November edition of the Caterham Independent!
Are you an early planner, or a leave-it-til-the-last-moment kind of Christmas shopper? After talking to lots of friends and colleagues, I think people are fairly evenly split between the two. I am sure that some of you have already got your gifts wrapped, and have ordered your turkey, while the rest of you are even refusing to think about all that until at least halfway through November.
But like it or not, the festive season is almost upon us, and we’ve had fun in recent weeks, compiling all the fab events that are happening in Tandridge. As always, we’re keen to support local businesses: there are some amazing artists, bakers, gift shops and more in our towns and villages, so please help them out by buying your presents and holiday food from them!
Anybody who knows me will tell you that I spend a lot of my life rushing from one thing to another, and I’m often told to slow down. I always answer that I love the adrenaline rush that running a paper, while juggling family life and goodness knows what else gives me but this week I received a warning that I really do need to sometimes stop and give things my full attention.
After a busy day of writing articles and phoning advertisers as we fast approached our printing deadline (oh, and trying to entertain my three children, as it was also half-term!) I was on the way to take my daughter and her friends to Hever Castle for their Halloween Scream spectacular. With my mind constantly whirring through the lengthy list of things I needed to do when we got home, I was suddenly aware that a light was flashing furiously on my dashboard – I needed petrol! Pulling into the next garage I came to, I leapt out the car and filled the tank. I was then engulfed in a cold sweat as I realised I had just put unleaded petrol into my diesel car. A lengthy, cold evening ensued, with me having to shamefacedly call the ‘Fuel Fixer’ to come and rescue us, and several disappointed children realising we weren’t going to make it to Hever.
Another word of caution in November’s edition comes from Caterham resident Mick Lidbury, who recently had the misfortune to be targetted by scammers. Thankfully, his bank was able to step in at the last minute to ensure he didn’t lose his life savings, but he is sharing his story with us so we don’t get caught out in future.
Moving on to more pleasant things, we’ve got some lovely columns this month: pastry chef Tim Fisher gives you an easy recipe for Christmas cupcakes, while The Girl Who Gardens has a guide for Christmas wreathmaking. Christelle, from Keep Calm Nutrition, is keeping the chill away with her healthy winter warmers, and East Surrey Museum reminds us of the important role the Fire Brigade plays in our community, particularly at this time of year.
We’ve also got two great competitions: you could win afternoon tea with Santa at Godstone Farm or a beautiful bouquet of Christmas-themed cupcakes, made by the talented Bakes By Sam. Make sure you enter!
My next task is to get started on our December edition. It’s always a special one to work on, but this year marks our 2nd anniversary (and 24th issue!) so my team and I are particularly excited to get it underway! If you’ve got any seasonal stories, or are taking part in a festive event, please let us know. Email us at email@example.com
(Oh, and in case you were wondering: my daughter and her friends made it to Hever a couple of nights later, and they loved it!)
See you next month.