Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here is the News

I often read articles that ridicule the round-robin newsletters that people like to put in their Christmas cards to let their friends and far-flung family know what glorious activities they've been up to during the past year. Personally I enjoy receiving these, as more often than not we don't get to see these people anything like as regularly as we used to, and so I've never considered not compiling one to send out ourselves.

On the other hand, I can see that some people find them irritating when when they just seem to be an ostentatious vehicle for telling everyone how wonderful their lives are - you know the sort of thing; endless paragraphs on exotic travels or how little Johnny has achieved 10 A'Levels before his seventh birthday. Mmmm, I guess we might have been guilty of the former in the past.

So, this year I've gone for an opt-in newsletter. Those of you reading this will be here because you've stumbled upon this page by accident or you've chosen to come here having received our Christmas card. Or you're one of the very few people who check this blog for updates - a fruitless task for much of the year - so step forward and take a bow; PT and CyberKim.

Right, so where do we begin? Well, after returning from the family holiday in Aspen, where Emma completed her first black run and Oliver safely negotiated the Olympic slalom course on his potty...., right, now what have we really been up to?

Well for those of you who were reading last year, you may remember Lin had been made redundant towards the end of 2008. After a few months of effectively completing her maternity leave, Lin became a job-seeker in the spring. It was a pretty forlorn task to begin with, but after several fruitless weeks, opportunities began to arise, and by June Lin had three different job offers. She had no hesitation in taking up a post as part-time practice manager at a doctors' surgery in the centre of Tonbridge. The leap into the public sector, and particularly the NHS, has been quite a shock, but slowly but surely she is getting on top of things and starting to feel like she's achieving something.

Emma started her reception year at Woodlands Infant School in September. She was definitely ready for it, and has settled in very well. She's a typical four-year old; a real handful at home but an absolute angel at school apparently - although we think the teachers may have her confused with somebody else. She did surprise us all (and herself) back in May by winning first prize in the under 5 age group of the Plaxtol village duck race decorating competition - the judges said her effort actually looked like it was done by a four-year old without adult assistance, which was indeed the case - hers is the rubbish looking one with the yoghurt pot on its head in the picture below

Meanwhile Oliver is now 21-months old and an absolute delight. He has a very happy personality and is no little trouble at all - he sleeps 11 hours or more each night without any interruption, something he's been doing for many months now, and he eats just about anything we put in front of him. Until recently Lin's parents were looking after him while she was at work, but Lin's Mum is currently recovering from a hip replacement, so he now stays with a child-minder instead. That seems to be working out quite well - it gives him the chance to mix with other children of his own age.

As for me, well I still have a job. There have been some redundancies at work recently where colleagues of the last eight years have unfortunately been let go, but personally I'm in quite a secure position. As long as the popularity of X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing continues there will be plenty for me to do. If you read elsewhere in this blog you'll also see that a few of us at work decided to relive our youth and have a bash at forming a band. It's been great fun and we've all been surprised at how good we sound. No doubt psycho-analysts would attribute it to a mid-life crisis, but we certainly intend to continue next year. Lin, of course, is right in the middle of a whole series of gigs leading up to Christmas with the East Peckham Silver Band, having had a busy summer with them at various venues around the South-East.

As I write this the snow is falling heavily outside the window. No doubt Emma's school will be closed in the morning (Health and Safety: a child might slip over!) - a shame, the last day before the Christmas holiday. I think I'll pop out and take a nice photo for you all...... it is. Merry Christmas