Most wonderful time
I just love Christmas, I always have, starting from a very young girl. We were a bit poor, with Dad in the army and the war just finishing.
Mum and Dad were from England so the tradition was to hang a silk stocking.
It is amazing what you can fit into those stockings, in the bottom an orange and some lollies, then some small gifts for you to unwrap. I would go to sleep hanging on to that stocking to catch Mum out, but I never did. In the morning you would feel this big, fat stocking, good memories I still hold. My children and grandchildren all continued this tradition.
Christmas at our place has always been a big deal. Last year I was unwell, and I missed out on most of Christmas. And so this year I couldn't wait, putting the tree up, decorating the house, wrapping the presents, sending out cards, putting on a big working bee with family, and emptying the garage for dancing.
Then when the day arrived there was carol singing, bocce, dress ups, and of course lots of food and drinking.
Relax, enjoy your family at Christmas time and I wish everyone a happy Christmas break, and look forward to the new year 2019.
Ethel Wilson, Lavington
Love my greyhounds
I was thrilled to see the story and photograph regarding greyhounds not being muzzled.
I have adopted five greyhounds since moving to Howlong. Greyhounds are very loving and learn to walk on a lead in a week. Their coat does not have an odour and greys enjoy swimming in the Murray River.
Margaret Thomas, Howlong
Shocking, and important
In the interests of short attention spans everywhere, the below list will be the most important one you will read this year. I guarantee you won’t get to number three and give up because it’s rubbish. But be warned, what I am about to say will shock you.
A recent study has found one in four people will have a stroke in their lifetime.
Yes, one in four people will have their lives turned upside down by a disease that attacks the brain, the vital organ responsible for our thoughts, movements and feelings. Stroke does not discriminate. It can strike anyone, at any age and any time. It impacts everyday people. There will be more than 56,000 strokes in Australia this year. But there is hope, and it is called prevention. Around 80 per cent of strokes can be prevented, and we can all take simple steps to reduce our risk.
Get your blood pressure checked regularly. Blood pressure is the key risk factor, but it can be managed. The number of strokes would be practically cut in half (48 per cent) if high blood pressure alone was eliminated.
Manage your cholesterol. High cholesterol contributes to blood vessel disease, which can lead to stroke. Eat a healthy balanced diet. Avoid sugary drinks and cut the salt. Exercise regularly. Inactivity causes weight gain and contributes to high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Quit smoking. Smokers have twice the risk of having a stroke. Drink alcohol only in moderation. Drinking large amounts of alcohol increases your stroke risk.
Remember this list and take your first steps towards reducing your stroke risk in 2019. It could save your life.