Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Our Christmas "Letter" 2015

I was rather late writing my letter this year as we’ve just come back from a cruise to the Canaries and now the house is in laundry and work chaos. (As usual we spend December doing tax returns rather than join in whatever it is normal people do.) We had a great time with some unexpected sunny days and  I’ve put the scrapbook pages done so far on www.sharonhorswill.com 

After spending a whole day trying to persuade my printer to print the pesky letter I gave up! Nearly everyone in the family has internet access so a label - even had trouble printing those - has been put in the cards reminding them this blog exists if they want to read our news. Of course I'll send letters to those who can't get online. I managed to get about 8 out of the 40 copies I started with. Aargghh... I hate those posts on Facebook that say "we're not sending cards, we're wishing everyone a Merry Christmas on here". What about your elderly and possibly lonely friends and family who aren't on Facebook then?

Unfortunately blogging about our exciting lives means we can only tell you news about us and not the family so here's the bit you missed ...

(try ringing the Mums occasionally if you want to know how they are!) 

We did well with our travelling this year and went to Amsterdam for a couple of days and had a weekend in Bournemouth to see the air show. We’re real Red Arrows/Vulcan/Typhoon nerds! It was barking mad staying in an overpriced run down hotel when we could have just got the train each day but we thought we’d try it. Amsterdam and Blankenberge (cold equivalent of Bournemouth in Belgium) scrapbooks are on my website. Here's a picture of the beach at Blankenberge to show you how cold looking it is!

The Amsterdam trip was a late celebration/mourning of my 60th birthday in March. We were supposed to go on the Oriana for three days starting on 31 March but it got held up in a storm and then ended up stranded in one of the lower docks with a hole in it from a “heavy landing”. There it was without me on my birthday! So we spent a windy afternoon at the beach and had KFC for dinner. Here's the scrapbook page to show you how windy it was:

John had a couple of weeks off in September to do much needed work on the house. Here ya go:

The progress was marred by burglars who not only broke in but also took my car keys and drove off in my car. This was while I was in my office upstairs late at night. I must have disturbed them as they didn’t make it past the kitchen (under where I would  have been moving about on creaky floorboards).  That was a small mercy as they missed out on tablets, Kindles, and my bag hanging up in the hall. It no longer hangs there…

We spent weeks dealing with the police and the insurance company and getting hardly any sleep as we jumped every time there was the slightest noise at night. The police were wonderful, I don’t know why people say they do nothing. They never once made us feel it was our fault or that we were wasting their time. They even sent CSI officers who were disappointed there was no blood on a nail on the fence. There will be blood next time as the only nails John had available to fix it were long, sharp ones …

To add insult to injury I had to spend days painting the back fence after the repairs.  Here's a scrapbook page of me painting the fence. Yes, I scrap everything ...

The car was recovered thanks to computers that know when the shape of a car doesn’t match the fake number plate. Then the “I bought it from a mate” thieves were caught later in another stolen car! The car was a mess so was written off by the insurance company but at least John got his watch back as it was in the car along with stuff stolen in several burglaries. It’s amazing how stupid thieves are. It was very upsetting seeing my little “one careful lady owner” car in such a mess.

We’re still without animals, which is a shame but we know we’ll be moving to a flat in a few years. I considered fostering cats or rabbits but I probably wouldn’t be able to give them back and I’d end up as the sad Cat/Rabbit Lady. We’re due to have Maureen’s elderly cat, Amy,  to stay for a few weeks to give Maureen a break. Amy doesn’t mind staying here as she gets her own room but since the spare room is full of holiday stuff she’ll have to wait a little while!

What of the family history and photo project, some of you will ask? Well, there is very little progress. The Hills side have provided loads of photos, the distant Horswill relatives join in with photos and add to the tree. My close Horswill family don’t join in. There’s nothing I can do. I give up. Photos are promised but never sent to me and one day a chunk of our heritage will end up in the recycling bin because apparently “no-one is interested”.  It happens in a lot of families but it’s a real shame.

If you'd like to see my "everyday life" scrapbooks for each year they're here.

Holiday scrapbook are on this page.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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