January to April – House redecoration
For 10 days at both Christmas and Easter and on several weekends in between, our family project was to redecorate Mary’s Mum’s house in Blackheath from top to bottom and from inside to out, including the garden. Our house here in Lutterworth could do with the same treatment but so far we haven’t found the time and energy to get started! Once finished the house was soon let, but since then we’ve had our share of the hiccups often experienced by new landlords – a water leak damaging the downstairs ceiling for example.
May – on the canals with Helen Fuller and friends
This was a repeat visit for some of us who made the same trip 20 years ago, so it was fascinating to see how the landscape had changed. The route takes in both industrial and rural settings and passes through the longest tunnel on the network at Harecastle, market towns like Nantwich and Market Drayton, deep cuttings, embankments high above the fields and the site of a (formerly) top secret nuclear bunker, now helpfully signposted from the towpath.
June – visits and a very special visitor
This month passed in a flash – the highlights were a house warming in Warwick, a visit to Mary’s aunt and uncle in Stevenage and a visit from our friend, Patricia, over from South Africa. This gave us the chance to revisit the National Space Centre in Leicester – a favourite haunt of mine.
July – Scottish Bible Week
I travelled up to St. Andrews to help on a dream interpretation team at the CLAN Gathering bible week. On my return I underwent an operation on my shoulder to sort out some problems I’d been having for a good while. I’ve recovered well, and have now started doing some exercise classes at our local sports centre.
August – French and English Bible Weeks
Mary’s turn for a getaway! This was her last trip to the village of Gagnieres in the Cevennes for a gathering of French churches and English friends. This was closely followed by a week camping at Ashburnham. This beautiful setting was the venue for our annual church camp and the launch of our 20:20 vision for the coming decade. In between the sessions we visited the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill and Mary took some long walks round the grounds. Back home in time for Lutterworth Carnival when the church put on a café offering free drinks and cakes and some friends from Cheltenham came over to interpret carnival goers’ dreams.
September – working hard
I started a Diploma in Event Management and PR by distance learning. Happily, the government is paying 75% of the cost! At Mary’s place of work, they started work on introducing a new thesaurus and library management system, and began to plan for the launch of a new management and leadership book competition – all the while carrying on their usual routine tasks! She also took on a new role as checklist editor and coordinator of a new group of experts. The pressure and pace of change have never been greater and it turns out her blood pressure is rather high too, so she’s started regular trips to the swimming pool.
October – a holiday in Devon
This month Mary and I finally got away for a holiday together, staying at a flat in Bovey Tracey owned by friends. The weather was wonderful – we walked up onto Dartmoor, took a trip on the river Dart, visited Dartmouth and Teignmouth and even swam in the sea. On the way back we paid a flying visit to our friends Tim and Alison in Cheddar – great to see them after a number of years.
November – Business Events etc
Redline Digital Services has done better this year than last, but last year was pretty slow. In February I bought out my partner in Network Midlands – business has been steady but is beginning to pick up again now. Building on this, I’ve has now started a new business with two friends, Craig and Emma (Business Events etc.) and we are planning a business exhibition in Leicester next year.
December – looking forward to a break
It has certainly been a busy year and I’ve scarcely mentioned all our regular activities at church and in the local community. We’re spending Christmas with my family and will be hoping to catch up with a few friends over the break. This comes with our best wishes for the coming year…looking forward to seeing you or hearing from you soon!