Happy Christmas from the Black Pearl!

Happy Christmas from the Black Pearl!


A winter’s scene – The Black Pearl in January 2013 – very cold fingers for Major and me and quite a few people wondering what on earth we were trying to do! Over these past three years, and especially over 2015, I have felt that the days, the weeks, the months are racing by far too quickly. And here we are at Christmas time again! Yes it is the season when we hope to give a bit more time to those around us and especially those closest. A time of year to take stock of where we are, what we have done and what happens next.

Easy enough to recount what has happened but, it has gone. Looking ahead is what I do worst – but with great hopes that sometime I will get it right! A safe prediction is that the Black Pearl Pirates will be out and about at the Seabank Road Christmas lights bash on 5th December – Phyllis told me it was the 5th but bearing in mind that I get things wrong – check it out!

Moving on, and with help from all those good people who have already volunteered, the Christmas Nativity will be appearing somewhere not too far away and slowly but surely converging upon a little-known inn just across the prom from the Black Pearl.

I will personally be celebrating Christmas on the Pearl at some time and as I may feel moved to play(?) guitar and sing(?) that will only be suitable of the tone-deaf, the desperate and my closest relatives and friends. Miss that one if you can.

New Year celebrations are essential and I hope we have a fine evening to begin 2016 which – so Rusty has told me – is going to be a quite fabulous year in Vale Park! And she won’t be wrong!. I am ready to predict with much confidence that it will be a great year all round. I just might be wrong – but there are reasons …

As some people will guess I am about to go off on one. And it is going to be quite personal. For much of my life I have hoped to find something I am really good at, and I have got through life alright but without ever finding that special something. However over these past few years, in the short period of time spent living here I have found that the voyage of discovery can be more enjoyable than arrival. Children have often asked us how we made the Black Pearl. We answer the children as best we can but in the main we work by trial and error. Sometimes we get it wrong and have to undo it and start again. There are satisfactions in trying to do something, in the search for solutions, the thrill of possibilities, getting it wrong is part of the experience and maybe the “how” has still to be invented! It seems that discovering this for myself has made me much more aware of the amazing things that so many people are doing all around me.

Over these past few years I have seen so many people in New Brighton trying something new, something not done before, with no blueprint, with no guarantee. People are doing wonderful things throughout our community, so many people working in so many different areas – in a school there, a shop here, a café, anywhere and everywhere. Unless you go there yourself you may not see them or hear about them but the stories are growing. They do so much with so little and the doing of the task seems to be reward enough. I salute them! I salute them everywhere, but especially here in our own place where these continuing endeavours, personal missions, acts of bravery, attempts at the impossible, aspirations without limit so inspire our community and enrich our joint and individual experience of living – and of living here.

A very happy Christmas to all who work in our community!