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Sorry, but joy escapes me ...

It’s new. It’s sparkling and shiny, but I must confess I have mixed feelings about it. Glad it’s there at last, but well aware it falls some way short of what many really wanted.

Sorry, but I find it hard to share the unrestrained joy of some at the opening of this new facility. I wish I could.

We wanted, and fought for, for more than 30 years, a new hospital in Sudbury. And for many of those years, the NHS displayed a sign, initially at what remains of People’s Park, indicating that this was indeed the site of a new Sudbury hospital.

Putting up that sign succeeded in shutting up many people, me included, the occasional comment in this column apart.

Perhaps we shouldn’t have stayed quiet, although hindsight tells me it would have made no difference. It took a long time before that sign disappeared, and our hopes with it.

But, faced with the closure of both Walnuttree and St Leonard’s, and the threat of their services being moved to Bury St Edmunds, getting a health centre in the town has to go down as something of a victory.

And we owe a debt of gratitude to those who kept battling to retain at least some health provision – in addition to GP surgeries – in the town.

Of course, if I were a cynic – perish the thought – I might be tempted to believe the threat to remove all services was a masterstroke by the health authorities which ensured acceptance of a health centre.

It’s there now. I’m due to pay it a visit shortly, and I’m sure I’ll grow to love it. Eventually.

December proved an exciting month for the English language as I discovered a couple of new verbs.

One came in a brochure for a winter holiday in Switzerland on the Jungfrau Express. The first day takes in Eurostar from London, transfers at Brussels, and continues to Luxembourg, “where we overnight”.

The other came in an item on local television. Electricity pylons in areas of outstanding natural beauty are being removed and the cables put underground. Or, as the warden of one of these sites said, National Grid is “undergrounding” the power lines.

To overnight, and to underground. Not in my dictionary. But I know the language changes, so I guess I’ll just have to bite the bullet on this one, and add it to my growing list of lost causes (see first and third items).

Christmas and new year proved their regular challenge, with mince pies, Christmas cake and pudding always within far too easy reach, and my waistline – never svelte – bearing testimony to my failure to resist temptation.

But just when I thought it safe to go into the supermarkets once more, I should have known better.

Easter is still some distance away, but the hot cross buns have already made their debut. Tough times ahead again, I fear.

And finally. A rugby club website, reporting the team’s latest victory, said the players had produced a ‘stella’ performance.

I always thought that followed perfection on the field ...

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