his year, so tragically shaken by the 11th September events, has for us, still been full of good things and we can be thankful of several achievements including, most importantly, discrete health. Sandra continues with Market Research and Francis continues to lecture in IT at Greenwich Community College (ex Woolwich College) and has been put in charge of new ventures including a course for the retired (a hint?). Francis has also enjoyed teaching ESOL classes, enhancing his experience after his CELTA qualification two years ago. In February he was invited to Athens to attend a Comenius conference and visited the Acropolis in beautiful spring-like sunshine without a hint of nefos.


We enjoyed a two-week holiday in Gran Canaria where, despite its negative hype, we found the island to be full of charm, variety and history, with some surprisingly rugged scenery and excellent seafood.


Despite the May theft of the trusty red and white Transalp (which had visited Italy in 1997) Francis found a replacement (this time in dark green) and undertook a 12-day Motorcycle journey, which included such cities as Berlin, Warsaw, and Dresden. Of one place he visited, beginning with A, Francis says he still has nightmares but he thought nearby Krakow one of loveliest cities he has ever seen.


Other holidays included a half-term week in Tuscany where, we scooter-visited (among other places) Volterra with its magnificent Etruscan heritage and Marradi (with its characteristic marron festival.)


Francis also managed to buy a house in a mediaeval hill village! If you are interested in renting it do let us know! In June, upon its structural completion, we began our first letting at the riverside flat with stunning Thames views we purchased last year.


The season at our three-star WTB rating Wales’s cottage of Rhiwhiriaeth Uchaf was very poor thanks to F & M.  However, at the start of summer Sandra hired a van and, together with her father and mother, took up a pair of new burgundy colour leather sofas found at a bargain price, which look really good in the living room. The Welsh Tourist board inspector clearly took this into account when she awarded us three stars in the new  (and tougher) rating scheme.




Sandra with friends at a picnic break at St Alphege’s during the Greenwich Festival.


Our other interests went well, including Sandra’s craft courses and the Sutton House Music Society, (Francis is advertising Secretary). We enjoyed several shows including brilliant Iberian productions at our “local” theatre, the Greenwich Playhouse and a lively Italian concert given by our “local” orchestra, the Royal Artillery. 


Our cats progress in good health. Pippo has recovered well and Twinkle and Tinker are thriving.


In conclusion, we wish you, your friends and family a truly enjoyable Christmas season, hoping this finds you in good health, and send our best wishes for the New Year, hoping it brings you a thousand and one good things.



Near Pinocchio’s Park, Tuscany