THE world might not be in a very happy state at present but out there while we're waiting for the second coming or whatever it takes to establish a more kind world order there are people on many fronts around the place who go way beyond what might be expected of them to make things just that little bit brighter.
But this year a truly sadistic new menace that came out of left field months ago has thrown up one more spanner in the works.
Here in Lithgow in recent times we've been delighted to read reports of the generosity of Westfund Health and the staff of Hungry Jacks and assorted others with major donations to help out where support is needed over Christmas. But something this year will be missing from our community.
For many years Christmas and Beyond has been a very special feature of Christmas Day with very special people giving up their day to help out with Christmas lunch (with all the trimmings including hampers and gifts for the kids) for those for whom otherwise it would be just another lost or lonely occasion.
Everyone was welcome; no one was turned away. Over the years Christmas and Beyond has become hugely popular with attendances counted in the hundreds, all catered for thanks to benefactors and volunteers, most recently in the Lithgow Bible Church at Bowenfels..
Sadly it won't be possible this year, another institution to fall foul of COVID. Maybe next year. Meantime organisers are suggesting inviting into your home someone you know to be alone at Christmas.
(Meantime a final reminder to the motorcycle fraternity that Saturday's Ulysses charity town run will eave Cullen Street in Portland at 10 am).
The glitter strips
STILL on a Christmas theme and some spectacular light displays are already worth exploring. So far drawn to our attention the extravaganza along Finlay Avenue (with charity coin donations invited) and after dark wonderland in Clarice Street and Wilton Close. Drop the column a line with your favourite sightings. It's a once a year venture into fairyland.
Our black 'sheep'
OK, so we once rode on the sheep's back. Nowadays it's coal miners carrying the load. Case in point a Sydney Morning Herald report the other day that read: ''The State Government will pour coal mining royalties into an investment fund ...as part of a strategy to offset its pandemic deficit of tens of billions of dollars'. Yep, black gold that does more than just keeps the lights on.
Sounds of silence
SO Britain has sounded a 10 year death knell for fossil fuelled vehicles. Not good news if you thrill to the throb of a big V8. And half the fun will be gone if we have Mt Panorama without the thunderous sound effects. Worse still if you identify as a petrolhead; 'battery head doesn't have quite the same ring to it.