Yalta cathedral


Kiev by night

his year has been a lively mixture of experiences and events for us. We can be grateful for several things including, most importantly, discrete health. Sandra continues with her art and art courses and Francis continues to lecture in IT at Greenwich Community College to a wide variety of students of all abilities and ages.


We spent our Easter in Italy deciding what to do with the house we bought at Rontano last year, an isolated village in the Apuan Alps national park.


Dawn over Rontano


Sandra in Chekhov’s garden

In the summer we visited the Ukraine, a most fascinating and beautiful country with warm, long-suffering and friendly people. Among our highlights was visiting Chekhov’s dacha in Yalta (where he wrote The Cherry Orchard), the Crimean War battle sights (“half a league onwards!”), refreshing treks in the vast forests and sightseeing in the great city of Kiev with wonderful mediaeval and art nouveau buildings. We sincerely hope this country can sort out its present difficulties.


We also returned to Italy, Florence and Rontano afterwards.







The season at our three-star WTB rating Wales cottage of Rhiw hiriaeth Uchaf was successful this year. Our other interests went well. We saw many shows and events ranging from Angela Gheorghiu in La Rondine to Danny la Rue at the Brick Lane Music Hall!


Our cats progress in good health, particularly Muffin and Twinkle.


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.