I love Christmas on Lundy! It is celebrated in a traditional way. In the morning this year there was a gathering in St Helena's Church for a session of carols and festive hymns a few visitors to the island brought instruments to play and a very merry

I love Christmas on Lundy! It is celebrated in a traditional way. In the morning this year there was a gathering in St Helena's Church for a session of carols and festive hymns - a few visitors to the island brought instruments to play and a very merry time was had by all who attended. While this was going on, the Tavern was a-buzz with Christmas lunch preparations - the staff ironing tablecloths and adding the final decorative touches before serving up a Christmas meal with all the trimmings. After the visitors have finished, it's the islanders turn for dinner and a good excuse to have a party. Everyone turns up to enjoy the afternoon together, with a meal, a few party games and then to dance the night away into the small hours. With such a festive atmosphere on the island it was hard not to get swept up in the celebrations and it's safe to say that everyone had a really lovely day. As I write this it's not quite the new year. It's that funny limbo time in between Christmas Day and January 1 but as 2008 comes to a close now is a good time to reflect on the past year. It's been a strange one weatherwise and I think everyone spent the summer wondering when it was going to start, although that didn't stop us getting out and about on the island. The summer seabird surveys proved a real success. We found a new puffin nesting site with new recruits hanging out at the burrow sites. The RSPB survey of Manx shearwaters showed that their numbers on Lundy have increased significantly over the past few years and also guillemot and razorbill numbers are looking healthy. Fingers crossed next year will be even better.The autumn/winter season brought a spectacular effort of rhododendron bashing, thanks to all the volunteer groups we had come over and help clear - and it looks like we are on target to have it cleared within the next few years. Work on the beach road is still on going throughout winter and is due to finish next year - a special thanks to all those who donated towards our needy cause!As we move into the new year and in the current climate of financial worry and trepidation of what 2009 might bring, it's important to think about what we care about most in life and take pleasure in simple things. We don't need vast numbers of material items in our life to make us happy and Lundy's natural beauty proves this to me day after day. It's a modest way of life over here but we are rich in terms of the beauty of nature and wildlife that visits our island and indeed the people who visit. Even now, in the winter season a short walk out of the village or through the woodland will present a special find - perhaps a firecrest or longtail tit blown to the island by the biting Easterly winds or a stag standing proud atop the side lands. In winter visitors to the island come here for the solitude and may not expect to see much while out walking. Although you might not see many people, there is still lots of wildlife here sitting out the winter.The waxcaps, a type of fungi are coming to the end of their colourful display, showing up as blobs of yellows, crimsons, greens and golden oranges dotted amongst the grasses on the island plateau. Putting on a vibrant colourful show, they are a real treat to spot in an otherwise quite bleak winter landscape. Ravens and gulls seem to take pleasure in the strong winds soaring high and tumbling down through the air at great speed - they put on a thrilling performance! Even the evening sun at this time of year creates wonderful colours and swathes cutting through the sky like a curtain of colour. This just proves that if you want to be entertained regardless of where you live, turn off the TV and go for a walk: there is lots to be discovered once you step outside your front door and the best thing is, it's all FREE!Happy New Year to you all on the mainland from everyone on Lundy.Sophie Wheatley, Assistant Lundy Warden