As the sun slowly sets on 2022, I am delighted to say it has been a record year and I’ve never worked harder.

Down to just two courses for lunch at Sous Le Nez, and only taking a week’s holiday every second month, it’s been brutal.

But I’ve dug deep, pulled on my exquisitely tailored big-boy pants, and bounded around the Michelsberg dancefloor like a deer on heat.

Last night, nursing a brandy in front of a log fire, ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ on the telly, I looked across at the Michelsberg girls and felt a glow of satisfaction.

I’m a big believer in ‘singing when you are winning,’ as life has a habit of kicking you in the balls when you least expect it.

In many ways I live in a bubble of positivity, surrounded by customers who are getting married, or, doing well enough in their chosen fields to afford them the luxury of buying bespoke clothing.

I avoid the news like the plague – it’s dreary and depressing – but there is no escaping the fact that many poor souls face a miserable Christmas.

A walk from the station to the Victoria Quarter is littered with grimy bodies huddled under tatty sleeping bags, the papers rammed with stories of heartache and pain.

Throughout this year, some of my customers have revealed they have taken refugees into their homes and done some incredible things for worthy causes, without so much as a peep on their social media pages.

Quiet givers are the best, and it’s heart warming to do business with so many thoroughly decent, caring people.

I know I was born lucky.

Brought up by a loving family, in a country where freedom and opportunity is taken for granted.

I’ve ended up doing a job that I love, dealing with people face-to-face, rather than through a screen.

Christmas for me is a time for reflection and the perfect opportunity to say thank you to those people who enrich my life.

And that includes you, my glorious customers.

You put bread on the Michelsberg table and a smile on my face and for that, I’m eternally grateful.

Here’s wishing you all a truly wonderful Christmas and a cracking 2023.