Christmas Greetings to all my regular blog readers – thanks for dropping by. For your entertainment here is this year’s Christmas newsletter. Warning: it does contain too many brackets and one moment of, hopefully forgivable, parental pride for eldest child. Apart from that, it should be safe to read but if you don’t like annual newsletters, you don’t need to read it.
Last year just before Christmas David very generously bought me a puppy. For me, this was ‘child replacement therapy’. For David, it was a moment of pure insanity. Our ancient family dog Chester (barrel with a short leg at each corner) had ‘conveniently’ passed on just as the children were leaving home so all was going to plan (well David’s plan anyway) but then insanity took over and Bobby arrived!
Bobby is now 1 year old. Here is a list of some of the items he has eaten so far: 3 mobile phone chargers, 1 brand new pink shoe, 1 knitting project complete with circular needle, several electric cables, at least two dog beds, a sonic screwdriver (yes really), countless 50p bunnies from charity shops (all disemboweled), 3 hairbrushes, Emma’s favourite flip flops and about half a dozen ‘indestructible dog toys’ (yeah, right). Yes, we do feed him but he’s fairly indifferent about kibble, haberdashery is so much more exciting!
All of this has required a great deal of forgiveness which counts towards ‘professional development’ for me I guess, and tested David’s repair skills to the limit. However Bobby does now have a Bronze Certificate from his dog training class so he is, officially anyway, ‘a good boy’.
(This year David is buying an animal hair compatible hoover –sanity has returned).
Believe it or not Bobby really has helped me through the transition into life without kids at home. (After all, when you’ve been clearing up mess and shouting for 20 years, why stop now?) So even though they are not here, here is the kids’ news: Matt is in Year 2 of Vet training and now lives with 3 other Vet boys in a house which is a vegetarian’s nightmare. The freezer is full of pheasant, pigeon, partridge and rabbit as shooting and skinning skills seem to eek out the student loan! He went to India for 8 weeks in the summer, an amazing adventure on a shoestring budget involving solo scooter rides into the Himalayas and three days on a drip in intensive care. He plans to travel again next year but this time his mother will be stapling a working mobile phone to his head.
Emma has graduated (whoo-hoo), left Bath (boo-hoo) and taken up her first job in London (ker-ching, ker-ching). We are hugely proud of her hard work and realise how very fortunate she is to have a job as many other first class graduates languish in the job queue. She is training to be an analyst for a firm called Accenture (and no, I don’t really know what that means but it involves long, long hours).
I am fine – I qualify for a student discount card for a few more years yet and by the time I have to give it up, I’ll be able to cash in on 50+ discounts – happy thought! I am having a fun time currently leading something called Messy Church. Ordination, part 1, is next July.
David (aka ‘super hero husband’) is…refusing to submit a sentence for this newsletter on the grounds of over exposure in last year’s newsletter. (He’s fine).
In summary we are still here, still breathing and for the most part deeply grateful for all life’s bounty. We wish you all the peace and joy that the Christmas message heralds – Jesus being ‘God with us’: awesome!
With love, Sheila, David and Bob the Dog