Wednesday, 6 January 2010

2009: How it was for us

Well, here we are at the beginning of another year. Time to look back on the past one and recall what happened to us and ours. I find this an enjoyable process but hopefully my ramblings will also be of interest to one or two others.

No longer hampered by Geoff’s knee problems we were able to be more active again, enjoying our walks and holidays.
In May we spent a week in South-east Scotland near Wigtown. The idea was that Geoff would set up his portable radio station and I would be happy because of the proximity of a book town. We enjoyed lovely spring weather, discovered a beautiful area and tolerated one another’s hobbies quite well.
June saw us actually taking flight (please note!) to France, where we spent a week with Jan and Jeremy, Geoff’s cousins. Jeremy lives very close to the coast of Finistere so we had a first-class guide to the area as well as good company and wonderful food. And it was hot!
We finished off the summer with a few days in Yorkshire, staying near Scarborough and visiting favourite old haunts such as Filey, Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay and Goathland.
Our mini before-Christmas-coach- trip to Oxford and Bath was a first for us, and very pleasant too.
On the home front, we have at last completed ‘The Kitchen’, a project which has involved lots of talking over a long time, and eventually a good bit of hard work.
Geoff continues to ‘work the world’ from his radio shack in the roof and emerges to take part in Raynet activities around the Peak District.
Musically I have had a good time this year attending concerts, singing with the Derby Hospitals Choir, playing the piano for a few church services and putting the Nelson Handbell Ringers through their paces.
The highlight of the year at church was the celebration, in September, of 70 years on the Broadway site. We had a nostalgic weekend which involved lots of eating and lots of talking.

And now to Mum. In April she underwent her second cataract operation which was successful in medical terms but did not functionally improve her vision. In spite of poor eye-sight she continues to cook and knit for England, entertain her friends in style and keep Wyevale Garden Centre financially viable.
She and I have had two trips to Old Hunstanton staying again at Caley Hall and doing the girlie things together.

Martin has had the sort of year where the edges of work and pleasure are quite blurred, or so it appears to the casual observer. Yes, he was in work on Superbowl night, but perhaps he should have been paying the BBC for the pleasure.
Other highlights of the year were seeing the Red Sox play at Fenway Park during a short trip to Boston with friends, coaching a crew that won at Metropolitan Regatta and reached a Henley Women's semi-final, following part of the Tour de France, including the Mont Ventoux stage, with Bryony, travelling with Rich to Carl’s wedding in the Ukraine and attending the World Rowing Championships in Poland. (I won’t mention that he travelled in the company of Sir Steve Redgrave as it would look too much like name-dropping.) Quite a haul for one year!

Andrew and Sarah got married in Copenhagen on 19th June. They celebrated their wedding with a party on a lovely, sunny day in August. We were delighted to share with them in the joy of a new baby daughter, Ava Rose, born on 13th October.Tilly was 4 a couple of weeks later. She is becoming quite grown-up now, especially with the responsibility of being a big sister. She spent a weekend with us for the first time in September and a good (if exhausting) time was had by all. She has been enthusiastically helping Andrew to beat the battle of cultivating an almost vertical garden.

Gareth and Beverley have had a difficult year in that both have had spells in hospital, Gareth following an accident on a motorbike racing track. Hopefully they are both on course to full recovery now. Very sadly, at around the same time their close friend Kenny died, also in a biking accident. We are proud of the way they have coped and supported one another through a very emotional time.
The high point of their year (excuse the pun) was doing a sky dive. Just watching the DVD made us feel nervous.They have carried on with work on their house which promises to be like Buckingham Palace when they have completed all their plans.
Levi has a deluxe outdoor kennel and is still our favourite grand-dog!

Clive and Margaret continued to offer stirling care to Marg’s Mum (also Margaret) until her death in July. She had achieved a grand old age and was able to stay at home with them until the end.
They eventually finished the work that ensued following the flooding of their house in ’08, and were straight in time for the upheaval caused by the annual garden party in support of Cheadle Animal Welfare. Rusty, a little rescue Yorkie, decided to adopt them just before their annual pilgrimage to Skye, making the trip something of a logistical night-mare.
Clive has continued to beat the bounds of Parwich and other outposts of Derby and Derbyshire, running 1,036 miles by the close of the year.

We were pleased to meet Rosemary’s friend and partner in travel, David, for the first time in May. We have not seen much of them this year as they have been covering the globe at a rate of knots, but the postcards, e-mails and texts have kept us informed of their whereabouts.

And so….We are grateful for the year that has passed, for our family and for continued contact with dear friends, and, though Geoff gives a shudder, I am thrilled by a snowy start to the New Year 2010.

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