THIS is not a column I expected to write.

It is Saturday, December 15 and I had exciting plans.

First of all an early visit to Stroud farmers’ market, then Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield.

I would then scuttle home to collect Mrs Light. Together we would head for our winter highlight. Jonny Coppin would be presenting his Christmas show. On a Winters Night at Stroud Subscription Rooms.

We love the drive, firstly the dark shapes that Cirencester Park presents then past Chapmans Cross the road opens up and the lights across the valley can be seen.

France Lynch, Oakridge, Eastcombe and more distant Bisley are all spotted before we plunge into the welcoming Golden Valley with surprise decorations following one after another.

The car is parked high in Bisley Street car park.

The lights of Whiteshill twinkle away ahead, while Rodborough is too our left. We certainly are aware of a sense of place. Stroud speaks to us from all sides as we trip (or would have tripped) down to the Sub Rooms.

The show itself is always outstanding. Mr Coppin has a knowledge and love of the Cotswolds and can link this to true Christmas spirit.

The audience I am sure were splendidly entertained. Martin Fry’s superb photographs complement the evening. Of course I would have looked out for Sheepscombe or Slad and now Penny, 12 happy years a “new native” would pick out spots when recognised.

Mulled wine and mince pies in the interval would be an added bonus.

For us the evening is the true start of Christmas.

All the delights of what Christmas in the county of Forest, Vale and Wild Blue Hill are brought together by a band of performers who know their audience and know us.

We would, had we been there had a Pandora’s Box of Gloucestershire delights, performed with easy grace, much talent and sense of place and time.

But we were not there! I have bronchial problems which caused Mrs Light to be firm. “No football for you and we will have to think about Stroud later”, but as I coughed and spluttered through the day I knew the answer.

“Never mind” said Penny. “You can watch the finals of Strictly Come Dancing”. I was not well enough for the quick witty riposte that remark warranted. I just thought of New Year. There will be another show next year will there not?

By the way the football was abandoned.