Picking-up where I left off last year, the month of December saw retirement events, heavy snow and a lovely Christmas with the Grooms – Gail, Martin, James and Tom – coming down to Cardiff to spend time with us. We took David & Penny up to Heathrow to see them off on their trip to Australia where they were to spend Christmas with Peter, Shells, Ewan and Maggie. Ruth and Ross were still in Cardiff so we saw quite a bit of them too before their move to London later in the year.
January and much of February, saw us in Australia and New Zealand. Meeting-up with David and Penny in Tasmania first where we had a week’s holiday with Peter & Shells, before then going to Deniliquin with the Owens’ family and then flying out to Christchurch and South Island for a fortnight. The record of our New Zealand trip can be found on my “Side by side …” blog.
Through the rest of the year we managed to get a few trips in, and we managed to get quite a few walks in, sometimes with the local Ramblers, sometimes with our friends – Roger, Karen and Joe – and these are described in a blog that I try to keep up-to-date. It’s called “Side by side …” and it includes both photographs and maps of our trips. Spring walks are recorded here, whilst summer walks are here and autumn walks here.
A major event of the year, which brought nearly all the family together, was the wedding of Alice (my niece) to Stuart – a lovely family occasion in a wonderful Sussex setting. We also managed to spend time with friends in Yorkshire (John & Jane); in Pembrokeshire and Cardiff (Carol & Chris); Devon (Alan & Mandy); and Essex (Audrey). I did a trip to the Spey Valley – Speyside Whisky Festival – with David when I also managed to look up old friends (Bernie, John & Midge and Alan & Ros). We went to the RHS Show at Hampton Park (it rained) and stayed with my sister (Jane), and we had short holidays with David & Penny in the Lake District, and Gail & Martin and family in the New Forest and in North Yorkshire. It looks as if we had quite a busy year! We also visited Leeds and New Milton on several occasions to be with Gail & Martin, and my mother who’s now approaching her 90th birthday and doing brilliantly.
I enjoyed the opportunity of another photo-break in the autumn with Nick Jenkins in West Wales near Llandovery. Some of the pictures from the trip are viewable on Google+ Photos – for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4. There are a few pictures I was pleased with. The Red Kite and the “mistake” impressionist picture being ones I particularly liked.
The year ended with a trip to Berlin with Roy & Christine (Jenny’s brother and sister-in-law) – we had a wonderful time; the sun shone as if it had gone out of fashion – even though it was quite cold and the Christmas Markets yielded plentiful supplies of Gluhwein and Bratwurst – I could get addicted. A few photos from the trip are provided here. Again a more complete set of photos for the five days we spent in Berlin are available to many of you on Google+ Photos.