I write this blog sitting in the park in Mestre, Italy. I am staying with my friend Gaia, as we are just about to begin teaching the Mindfulness Based Living Course (MBLC) teaching skills retreat in Venice for 5 days, starting Wednesday. She is at home with her mum putting up her enormous Christmas tree and hanging no less than 900 fairy lights around it. I am usually a bit of a Grinch when it comes to Christmas, but in the face of Gaia’s unbridled enthusiasm, resistance is useless! So I am going with the flow and am determined to enjoy the sparkly lights and Christmas songs that are around me.