his year (our Silver Wedding anniversary year!) has been a heady mixture full of good and  less good things. However, we can be grateful for 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.


We started off 2002 on the ski slopes, on the Apennines. We stayed at the little village of Cutigliano, which really lived up to its name.


We enjoyed a two-week adventure holiday in Bali and Lombok where (among many other things) we visited temples and markets, climbed a volcano, white-water rafted, survived a particularly stormy sea-crossing on an outrigger canoe, managed to save our belongings from very inquisitive monkeys, attended Court Dance at the Royal Palace, and ate splendidly in beautifully sited accommodation. It was terrible to learn later about the terrorist attack that rocked this island and its lovely people.


In autumn, we enjoyed the Tuscan autumn by scooter and, among other places, visited a Marron Chestnut festival, viewed giant whales skeletons in an ancient convent and heard Barenboim at La Pergola. In winter we had a last –minute bargain in Cyprus. It was our first time there and we shall certainly return!


The season at our three-star WTB rating Wales’s cottage of Rhiwhiriaeth Uchaf was rather more successful this year after the F&M of last year. We completely renewed fittings in two bedrooms.


Our other interests went well, including Sandra’s craft courses and the Sutton House Music Society, (Francis is advertising Secretary).  We managed several shows and events including Benigni’s “Pinocchio” and several sorties to Covent Garden.


Our cats progress in good health despite Pippo’s expected demise 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.



(Pictures, from Italy, Wales, Bali and Cyprus)