The famous first line of Shakespeare’s Richard III is, “Now is the winter of our discontent”. It seems particularly pertinent to our lives in bleak midwinter lockdown. It is only too easy to feel that we are living in some eternal limbo, caught between a modern dystopia and a brighter, vaccine fueled future. It is a strange time indeed and I think we all feel a strong sense of ‘discontent’ at our collective fates this winter.

Shakespeare’s sentiment was not a bleak one however and is followed by ‘glorious summer’. In fact his ‘winter of discontent’ is a symbol of optimism, of victory and better times. It is important that we remember, living as we are in extraordinary and difficult times, they represent only one small staging post in the cycle of history; we will soon be unlocked from our ‘discontent’ and while my experience of a Lancashire summer is never quite ‘glorious’, we will at least be freed from our winter cages.

Keep the faith and keep safe!