Many of you reading this have been a really big part of this massive year at Lizzie HQ so I'm sending you huge Christmas cheers in this seasonal post! Here's raising a little glass of sweet sherry in your direction and (as is my insatiable habit) coming over a little reflective while looking back on a year packed with change and surprise (must be the shiny baubles). For lots of people, there's a lot to take stock of. If you will, draw up to the virtual fireside and ponder while the festive tunes croon on in the background:
So, think back to this time last year.
Can you say what is different today? What wheels have you set in motion in the past 12 months that weren't moving this time last year?
What books have you written, exhibitions mounted and speeches given, manifestos drafted and brave approaches made to new collaborators?
What chats have been had over the precious teacup as you sculpt projects and relationships, and after that, who has joined you on the journey, decided on a different path...
...or maybe even been born into your life?
Maybe it's not a person that's been born - maybe it's your Project Of A Lifetime.
And in the middle of all that, what things have stayed the same, necessarily so? Kept, preserved, treasured.
Could you name your favourite 3 places of the year, where things happened, and the people they happened with? Places and spaces come and go as theatre scenery. Don't forget your visual backdrops.
What have your soundtracks been?
Most of all, are you doing anything to mark and appreciate the changes?
For all these things, there are plenty of reasons why the Christmas humbug could be tasting very sweet this year, so there's a special thing I want to do, thanks to you.
In October, I exhibited my Street Child photography project in Bradford Cathedral - the culmination of ten years work, which I think might have been the last show. It's a big deal to finish this project, but thanks to some of you there's plenty of new stuff happening. Learning when to finish something is a very good lesson - our identity can get so wrapped up in external things, but that's not always helpful when it's time to move on. To mark the changes, the end of the street kids project, and celebrate the positive impact many of you have had on my working life this year, my Christmas hospitality funds will be going to three charities: Save the Children, Barnardos, and Street Action. Lots of little people will also feel the impact too - and that's thanks to many of you who I have really enjoyed working with this year.
Thank you for being inspiring and bold and making things happen! So come on, with me and the kids, get with the humbug and sweeten up!
A really HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you, and thanks everyone for a fantastic year.