Welcome to the December edition of the Caterham and District Independent!
Well, we’ve made it through another year! Hard to believe that 2021 is almost over, isn’t it? It’s even harder for me to believe that my team and I have just celebrated two years at the helm. I bought the paper, and took over as editor, in December 2019, knowing that the first 24 months of any new business can be really tricky, but without any idea of what 2020 was going to throw at us!
Difficult though it was at times to keep going, we did, and I’m so proud of how hard my team worked. We produced a physical copy of the paper, and delivered it across Tandridge every month, despite all the challenges that came with lockdowns and social distancing.
And here we are: 24 issues down, and ready to grow even bigger and better in 2022! To celebrate our achievements, and to thank everybody who has helped us since we started, we recently held an event at Soper Hall, in Caterham. Not only was it lovely to see so many of our friends and supporters there, we were also lucky enough to be fed by some amazing local companies. From grazing platters, cupcakes and biscoff-topped ice cream, through to candy floss, tandoori chicken bites and samosas, I ate a ridiculous amount…but it was all so delicious I still wished I’d had room for more! Music was provided by the fabulous Mel DJ from Ridge Radio, and talented local singer/guitarist Chris Moloney – thank you both for creating a great party atmosphere!
I’ve really enjoyed attending several of the district’s Christmas lights switch-ons. I took my two youngest children to watch the Warlingham lights turn on, where people had the chance to enjoy mulled wine, mince pies, hot dogs, hamburgers and lots of other goodies. (There’s always so much food around at this time of year, yum!) And of course, the lights in Caterham Valley, and on the stunning Cedar Tree always let us know that Christmas is rapidly approaching!
We’ve been speaking to the man behind the new Keeping Woldingham Safe group, which is making a really positive impact on lowering crime rates in the village, and you can also find out why a Caterham father and son are donating all their November wages to charity. I had the pleasure of meeting Crystelle Pereira recently: we talked about her passion for baking, and how she found herself in the final of this year's Great British Bake Off.
The Girl Who Gardens has an inspirational list of suggested presents for the gardener in your life (and you can see how reporter Rosalind’s attempt at Christmas wreathmaking, from Renée’s November column, went too!).
Tim Fisher’s delicious gluten-free recipe for chocolate mousse cake will ensure you can impress your guests, and Chantal’s finance column aims to keep us shopping online securely. For those of us who may – ahem – overindulge, during the festive period, Keep Calm Nutrition’s Christelle offers a way to beat the Christmas bloat. And just why did Ridge Radio’s Presenter of the Month, Iosif Papathanasiou, receive a funny look when he bought his first ever mobile phone?!
With rising coronavirus rates and the new Omicron variant giving us cause for concern, it’s hard to predict the situation we’ll find ourselves facing when our January edition goes to print. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that the Caterham Independent is a community paper, and we will do everything we can (in print, on our website and on our social media channels) to bring you information, support individuals and businesses across Tandridge, and offer you a platform to share your stories. Please get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you a happy and peaceful festive season, and see you in 2022!