It’s 6pm on a Sunday evening and I type this missive, sniffling in front of a log fire, wearing a dressing gown and sheepskin slippers.

Dear friends, it seems, to quote ‘Withnail,’ I have drifted into the arena of the unwell.

With a temperature over 39 degrees, there’s been more perspiration and sighing than in a Ron Jeremy production, but as your brave and stoic tailor, I’m digging deep, determined to have Christmas in good health.

Gazing wistfully into the flickering flames, a bottle of Night Nurse by my side, I can reflect back on 2019 and find many positives.

It’s been a record year in terms of net profit, I’ve launched new product lines, including bespoke chinos and made to measure Peacoats , but perhaps the thing that has given me most pleasure is the success of my ‘Saturday Girl,’ Rachel Guy.

The daughter of one of my customers, a fellow surfer and lover of mod style mohair suits and shirts with stick-pin collars, I agreed she could ‘shadow me’ to gain some experience in the world of bespoke tailoring.

A student of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Sheffield, she was clearly a very bright girl, and with a love of 40’s and 50’s vintage clothing, would certainly fit in.

Over the last four years, Rachel has blossomed from a quiet, shy, reserved character, to a confident, articulate, outspoken, young woman.

I have very particular views on how a customer is to be treated with a sales and fitting process that is rigorous and highly structured.

It’s very much, ‘The Michelsberg Way’ of doing things, and this month, I sat back and proudly watched Rachel deal with a new customer and do everything perfectly.

So, is she going to become a tailor?

Of course not, her brains are far too big for that!

She’s just graduated top of her year with a first class degree and is heading to London to work for the Supreme Court of Justice.

Last Saturday was her last time on the Michelsberg dance floor, and believe me when I say this young lady deserves all the good things that are coming her way.

As for me, well, at the moment it’s touch and go, but if I manage to pull through, there’s some seriously good vino for Christmas Day and a cheeky little break in Sandsend over New Year.

On a final note, I should like to thank you all for your business in 2019 and the laughs we have shared together.

Here’s to more fun and frolics in 2020 and wishing you and loved ones a very Merry Christmas!