Editor's Letter - December2008

Sussex Life on ice...

Sussex Life on iceWHAT does Christmas look like to you? I've been describing it to my daughter Libby - OK, she's not even a year old yet but this is her first one and trying to explain the big tinsel covered tree in the living room is the least I can do. At the moment it's just another thing she can pull over. For me, the perfect Christmas has to be snow-covered - and the colder the better. Beautiful crisp white streets lit by glowing street lamps, while inside families gather in front of the fire for a game or two of Trivial Pursuit. One of my earliest memories is of The Snowman, Raymond Briggs' enduring children's classic written, would you believe, 30 years ago. The sight of Brigg's cuddly creation zooming across the Downs, Brighton Pier and the Royal Pavilion is just about as festive as it gets. To mark the occasion and support the county's first Snowman Ball in aid of the Chestnut Tree Hospice, Briggs spoke to Sussex Life's Angela Wintle about his life, new projects and his real feelings about his work.The cold theme continues with a fascinating look back at Christmases gone by and in particular the work of famed Sussex photographer George Garland. His pictures evoke memories of icy cold Sussex winters with Petworth farmers battling against the elements to provide for their families - a remarkable record of rural life.And if that wasn't enough ice, it is also 100 years since Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated journey to the South Pole. In honour of this great explorer and those who journeyed with him, a new team including some of Shackleton's relatives are retracing the route. Maheesha Kottegoda spoke to them ahead of their historic adventure.Finally, you'll find lots of great ideas for the perfect Sussex Christmas, both in these pages and at Here's to a happy and snow-covered one.

Jonathan KeebleEditorjonathan.keeble@archant.co.uk

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