It’s always great to have people get in touch with me out of the blue, bursting with enthusiasm and good ideas for articles. Sometimes this leads to a one-off piece in Now Then, while other times it leads to them becoming a regular contributor, some of whom have been with us now for six or more years. If you’ve got something to say, get in touch with me.

You might do a bit of a double take on first glance at this month’s featured artist. Frank Kunert meticulously creates miniature scenes, building and tweaking before capturing the final photograph. I chat to him about his work on page 35.

Elsewhere, we’ve got a round-up of our music writers’ favourite releases of the past few months (p39), an interview with festive folk singer Kate Rusby (p44), a feature on a new eco-housing venture called REACH Homes (p10), and plenty more.

I nearly got away without mentioning it, but it needs to be said: if you’re spending money over Christmas, challenge yourself to do it with local independent traders. These people are so passionate about their products and services – and those are the kinds of people you want giving you gift ideas when you realise it’s Christmas Eve and your mind goes blank…

Background image: Frank Kunert – Private Function