Monday, December 20, 2010

Southern Freeeeeeeez

If this is a review of the year, there is a nice, albeit freezing cold, symmetry about it. This time last year we were gazing out on a snow laden garden, impassable roads and shut schools, and for the first time in decades contemplating a white Christmas.

"Enjoy it while it lasts - it'll be years before you see it like this again", we told the children.

Not even a full year, as it turned out. Two weeks ago we couldn't even open the front door for fear of losing Oliver in a snow drift, and as I type this now, a fresh blanket in the last 24 hours has enabled Lin to build yet another gargantuan snowman on the front lawn. It looks like it's got better prospects of surviving till Christmas Day than last year's.

December 18th 2010

December 25th 2009

In between all this we've briefly had a summer and managed to get up to a few things of note. A few things of note - that's a good place to start:

Lin continues to play regularly with the East Peckham Silver Band, entertaining the public throughout Kent and East Sussex. She has also continued to fulfill engagements playing solo bugle at ceremonies and funerals, including Last Post at Westminster Abbey on Remembrance
weekend - just a bit nerve-wracking!

Lin has also started piano lessons - with an aim to be able to play fluently by the time she's admitted to a nursing home. At the moment she's sounding more like Les Dawson than Les Miserables.

Meanwhile, Jon is enthusiastically rehearsing with his works band. This year they've played 50% more gigs than last - a grand total of three, but still managed to help raise £900 for various charities in the process. There's a number of other entries on the blog if you're interested in learning more.

Talking of work, things have been quite settled there. Lin is still doing three days a week as practice manager at a local GP and Jon will be "celebrating" ten years at Teligent in 2011. With the "Televote Season" now over, he's looking forward to a quiet Christmas and the chance to enjoy Saturday evening TV without one eye on a computer screen and one ear on a BT conference call.

Emma and Oliver are a constant source of enjoyment. Emma moved up to Year 1 in September and is doing very well - "Unerringly polite" was one of the comments on her school report - that was a shock to us! She also contrived to win the Plaxtol Village Duck Painting contest for the second year running, and followed this artistic triumph by winning first prize in a competition run by Tonbridge Council to celebrate the centenary of the town's swimming pool - see elsewhere in this blog for a picture of her receiving her prize from Duncan Goodhew.

Oliver started nursery school in September. It was typically traumatic to start with, but he's settled in very well and the staff are having no trouble with him.

He's still quite a baby at heart; rarely stringing sentences of more than three or four words together, never far from his dummy and comfort blanket, and totally disinterested in using the potty - so it's a real shame he's developed a taste for chicken jalfrezi.

With children turning three and six in March we are very much looking forward to a magical Christmas. Of course we are playing the Santa card at every opportunity to make sure they go to bed on time, tidy up their rooms and generally behave properly. On the other hand we are constantly moving the chocolate decorations onto higher branches of the Christmas tree as the pair of them devise more and more devious and dangerous ways of reaching them - skipping ropes, practice golf balls, radio-controlled helicopters; anything is fair game in the pursuit of chocolate.

For anyone interested, I'll be posting up a new album of pictures from the year during the next couple of days - there will be a link on the right here somewhere. In the meantime, drive carefully, stay safe and have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Jon, Lin, Emma and Oliver


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