Ending the year where it all started

LymeOnline launch
Flashback to February 2018 when experienced journalists Tim Dixon, Geoff Baker and Richard Austin helped Francesca and I to celebrate the launch of LymeOnline

THIS year has flown by in a bit of a whirlwind. It was a difficult start to 2018 with the closure of the View From newspapers, but after much support and encouragement from the local community, we decided to set up a new project.

I headed off to Galway to stay with my sister Zoe, a talented designer and all-round computer whizz! In just two weeks we built the LymeOnline website, going live on January 26, and a month later our first printed edition followed with a celebratory launch night at the Woodmead Halls where perhaps one too many gin and tonics were consumed!

Since then it’s been pretty much non-stop; a steep learning curve, especially on the digital side of things, but mostly a joy to be able to continue playing a part in the community.

So after a busy 12 months I’ll be finishing the year where it all started – in Galway to celebrate Christmas with my family. Hopefully this time the trip will be a little more relaxed!

While I’m looking forward to my trip, it will feel a bit odd not being at all my favourite festive occasions in Lyme Regis. I’ve only ever spent two Christmases away from my hometown – one in London as a toddler, and one in Arizona in the USA when I was about 11.

In particular, I’ll miss the Rotary Club’s Carols Around the Tree on December 22. We’ve had a few turbulent Christmases over the years, but no matter what’s going on, we’ve always sung carols under the tree, so I’ll be thinking of Lyme on that evening.

The Christmas Day Swim in Charmouth is another favourite. I first started covering the event when I was about 18 and the idea of working on Christmas Day rather than unwrapping presents in my pyjamas didn’t have the greatest appeal. But the excited atmosphere and all-round silliness of the event soon won me over and now it’s become a part of my Christmas tradition.

While it’s not at all festive, one of my favourite things to do during my visits Ireland is to challenge ourselves with an escape room. For those that have never tried, they’re physical adventure games in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles to escape.

I’m a bit useless but it’s always good fun, so I was really pleased to see Uplyme brothers Sam and Jamie Pollard-Jones are launching their own pop-up escape room in Uplyme this month.

Zoe, her husband Barry and I will definitely have to give it a go when they visit for my birthday in the New Year (Dad’s still not quite convinced!)

Although I won’t be there myself, we still plan to have full coverage of all the festive events in our New Year edition on January 4 (please note there will be no printed edition on December 28) and look out for our special first anniversary edition in February 2019.

All that’s left to say is to thank our readers and advertisers for being so supportive during our first year – I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

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Woodmead Halls

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