What was behind the door of your advent calendar today? I had a rather lovely Christmas tree in my Angela Harding Winter Robins scene. 

I'm a great fan of her work and it's a joy to take time each day to look at the artistry of her printmaking and the beautiful colours and lines in this picture of the countryside.

Advent is a time of anticipation and preparation for the celebration of Christmas but the 24 days have long been exploited by marketing teams. Keen to sell us their products, clients or stories, advent has been an excuse to get in touch with us every day. 

I used to find that at this time of year my inbox would be filled with emails from clothing companies, charities or even professional organisations. Now they seem to use Instagram which doesn't seem quite so intrusive and is sometimes rather creative and useful!

I might not be quite so engaged by day 20 but at the moment I'm interested to see the book recommendations made by booksellers in Bath, the activities of the Anglo-Saxon boatbuilders in Woodbridge and the inventiveness of novelist and potter Elizabeth Macneil (she has embroidered her own advent calendar).

I was also pleased to see that the publication Positive News has collected a good news story for every day of advent. A few minutes on social media each day in the lead up to Christmas might be time well spent this year as we hope for a brighter, kinder, fairer future. 

Thank you for reading.