Christmas 2002

It has been a quiet year this year—at least compared with the last couple of years.

Garden MakeoverWe have continued to settle into Holly Bush. This year, our big project was to landscape the front garden. It had some foundations from the cottage originally on the site and a good crop of the biggest thistles you have ever seen. The foundations are now hidden by a deck and pergola - nearing completion in the picture on the left. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the thistles do not re-appear through the new lawn. Work was completed well into autumn so we are looking forward to spring—especially after spending 5 hours on our hands and knees planting daffodils up the drive.

Inside the house, we have been steadily furnishing it up to a post-children level. Most of the orders were placed at the beginning of the year and have dribbled in through the year. There have been times when we could have done with the services of our progress chaser from Racal-Transcom days. He was an ex-Royal Marines instructor. Suppliers lived in fear of him.Gullet Sail

We are hoping that the outstanding curtains and soft furnishings are here in time for Christmas. We are expecting a houseful with Paul’s Mum and sister staying with us as well as Dave and Vicky and Peter.

Paul continues to work part time. His main job has been advising the Post Office on the security of a new banking system they are putting in as part of the Government initiative to transfer benefit payments from books to bank giros. The project is reaching its peak in the run-up to Christmas.

When he is not working, Paul loves playing with photography. You can see some of the results on these pages -click on an image for a larger copy. The advent of film scanners and high-quality inkjet printers is providing an good excuse to go back over his film archive and produce a selection of prints for around the house.

We managed two short breaks away this year. One was to Honfleur in northern France and the other to the east coast of the USA—see the Lads story. Our main holiday was to Malta, chosen primarily for the good scuba diving for Peter. The Med was amazingly clear with stunning views of fish. Both of us enjoyed discovering some of the fascinating history of the islands. The highpoint was a day sailing round Malta in a Turkish gullet—the part actually under sail was exhilarating.

Sue & Paul 

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