Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 628

3 8 DECEMBER 2022 G O O D N E W S I N B R I E F Morris dancing! Mummers’ plays! Mince pies! This month, after a twoyear hiatus, communities will finally gather for some traditional festive merriment – or mischief. All manner of ‘dice-players and unthrifty folk’ are welcomed to York as part of a 600-year-old Yule Riding ritual. On the eve of the winter solstice (21 December), the city’s sheri will parade through the streets, proclaiming that ru ans may enter for the 12 days of Yule, whilemedieval-style band The YorkWaits strike up a cheery tune. Ancient traditions in Penzance, Cornwall, see TheMontol Festival, a six-day extravaganza, culminate in a traditional ‘guise dance’ on the solstice, when revellers don disguises andmakemerry in the streets. Brighton residents will gather on 21 December for the annual Burning the Clocks. Paper lanterns are paraded through the city, then cast onto a bonfire on the beach, in a ritual said to O come all ye playful The average household could save around £112 a year by resetting their combination boiler water flow temperature to 60°C. Most homes set the flow at between 75°C and 80°C but, according to research by innovation charity Nesta, reducing the flowwill help improve energy efficiency and cut costs. 60°C A SONG FOR PEACE More than 30,000members of Rock Choir will put on a special version of Carol of the Bells, a traditional Ukrainian folk song, to raisemoney for the country at Christmas. Singers from the amateur choir’s 400 locations across the UK have been practising ahead of fundraising performances in their local communities. The track is dedicated to all the Ukrainian families spending Christmas apart from their loved ones. “The song was created to portray a glimpse of happiness and peace,” says Caroline Redman Lusher, Rock Choir’s creative director. “This sentiment resonates profoundly todaymore than ever, given the huge emotional turmoil the Ukrainian people are experiencing.” Caroline founded Rock Choir in 2005 as an alternative to traditional choral groups. Its members, whomeet weekly, have raisedmore than £50,000 for Ukraine this year through charity events and concerts. EmmaHigginbotham FESTIVE TRADITIONS Burning the Clocks in Brighton (top); York’s sheri (right) symbolise the death of the old year and birth of the new. Residents of Mousehole, Cornwall, celebrate TomBawcock’s Eve on 23 December. The feast day commemorates the eponymous local, who, according to legend, braved stormy seas to haul in fish during a famine. Lanterns are carried through the village, and ‘starry gazey pie’ (made fromfish, egg and potato) is served in his honour. On Christmas Evemorning, the Poor Owd ‘Oss, a performer dressed as a deceased horse, will gallop into the marketplace at Richmond, North Yorkshire – accompanied by a group of harmonious huntsmen, who will resurrect himwith a special song. Said to bring luck to those who see him, he will certainly provide lots of laughter, too. Lizzie Briggs This week’s uplifting stories fromAnna-Marie Julyan Dress to the nines A sense of sophisticated party spirit imbues Bridesmaids director Paul Feig’s new book Cocktail Time! The Ultimate Guide to Grown-up Fun. You don’t have to drink alcohol to partake in his ‘cocktail lifestyle’ – it’s all about putting on your best clothes, being with friends and great conversations. He shares tips on everything from glassware to music and party-planning, as well as 120 cocktail recipes and Hollywood stories. Cosmic ambitions British Paralympic sprinter John McFall, 41, has become the world’s rst disabled astronaut after being selected by the European Space Agency (ESA). John, who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident aged 19, is one of 17 recruits among the ESA’s rst new batch of astronauts in 13 years. More than 22,000 people applied. He’ll take part in research via the Parastronaut Feasibility Project, with the aim of one day travelling into space. Puttingwomen in the picture History student Katy Hessel asked herself “Where are all the women?” after visiting an art fair where not one work was by a female artist. After realising she couldn’t name 20 female artists, she launched @thegreatwomenartists on Instagram. Her book The Story of Art Without Men, which shows how women achieved artistic excellence against the odds, has now won the 2022 Waterstones Book of the Year. Alzheimer’s breakthrough The discovery of the rst drug capable of slowing Alzheimer’s disease is ‘a historic moment’, says charity Alzheimer’s Research UK. Lecanemab clears the amyloid protein that builds up in the brains of people with the disease. Although the bene ts were small, there are side e ects and it must be used in the early stages, Lecanemab is the rst success after decades of failure, o ering hope for future treatments. Photographs: Channel 4, Toby Scott, Simon Dack/Same Sky, Alamy Stock Photo, Haarala Hamilton