Monday, December 22, 2008

Step into Christmas...

At last, thanks to my parents, the Christmas round robin we all love to hate the most. Names have been changed to protect the dull.

They mean well and it's all harmless - the poor old sticks are cleary getting rather frail now, but the level of detail to send to people you've not seen or spoken to in over 20 years never fails to amaze.

A prize if you get to the end.


Here we are, once more, with all the news from the Jackson family and a photo of our garden last week! As you will see, life has been more than hectic lately.
Last Christmas and New Year was spent very quietly, due mainly to the fact I was still recovering from my fractured pelvis and, found just before Christmas, a healed fracture of the sacrum, which was inflamed and needed further treatment (much delayed!) and I was passed 100% fit only this past August! Happily, in spite of the Orthopedic Surgeon’s opinion that one shouldn’t ski after 60, he gave in when I explained that over-70’s get a free ski pass, so I can’t afford not to ski, to make up for the many years I had to pay! However, I missed out for the whole season and Jimmy had more of my company!
For Easter, we rented a flat in Garrucha, in the very south of Spain. It overlooked the sea, and Jimmy was able to scoot along the promenade in his mobility scooter, with me trying to keep up with him. It made a very nice change for both of us!
Sadly, on our return, we received the sad news that our dear friend and Lorna’s Godfather, Des Smith, had died of cancer. I decided to attend the funeral, and flew to Prestwick, staying overnight with Friends, and then Jock Harrison picked me up and we drove down to N. Wales together, reversing the journey for me to return home. In spite of this sad occasion it was still great to see so many “old” faces, plus offspring, and all of Joy and Des’s family, and I am so pleased I managed to get there to support Pat and the “girls”!
Our summer holidays fell into place when Carmella, Jimmy’s cousin, suggested we join her in France for a week near Perigieux, and on to Fouras, near La Rochelle for a second week. Brother-in-law, Tim, was also able to join us and we had a great time, first in a small Chateau, and then by the sea, living in a garden, that was a Gite!! We then went on to stay at Tony’s apartment in Wimbledon Village, mostly on our own, as Tony was working a lot in Portsmouth, and had a trip to Bombay while we were there. We were centrally placed for friends and family in the area to come and visit, with Lorna just 20 minutes away. We took a small break at Warners Hungerford Hotel, with Tish and Bryan Bonkers joining us, and several friends from the area visiting. Jimmy coped very well using his mobility scooter quite a lot in France, and at the Warners Littlecote House. However, he was very happy to get back to home in Andorra. We always go by car, our reliable Skoda estate, 4x4, diesel, as it is more convenient for Jimmy, and I am happy driving, and it carries everything bar the kitchen sink!!
I got back to gentle hashing, not overdoing the exercise, but we have a great group of hashers, and it really is lovely in our mountains.
Our year has been peppered with specialists’ visits, regular check-up, blood tests etc. some of them even for me! However, the highlight of the year was Jimmy’s fall when he overbalanced from his carver dining chair, breaking the chair arm, on which he fell and broke two ribs, according to the x-ray in emergency. Nothing to do they said, but 3 days later, feeling unwell early in the morning, he fell again in the bathroom and, presumably, broke a further rib and penetrated the right lung. He spent the next seven days in intensive care, and nearly five weeks more recovering from the collapsed lung, with blood drainage, two bouts of infection, coming home with little mobility due to all that time in bed. However, all the medical attention has been great. He has oxygen at night here at home. A physiotherapist comes in every day in order to get him mobile and on his feet again. He has a special chair acquired from a lady that no longer needs it - like an office chair, but very stable with brake on, and electrically goes up and down for ease of transferring to the armchair or bed etc. It also goes through doors that are too narrow for a wheelchair!! He is making such good progress, and we hope he will soon be getting around with just his 3-wheeler walker. I have gone into rather a lot of detail here, but I thought it interesting to see how lucky we are with our medical facilities - and the hospital is only 10 minutes away from where we live, so I was able to pop in anytime.
Family news: Tony is very busy with a new job as Chief Engineer and Procurement manager for a new ethanyl plant. This requires him to spend a lot of time in Portsmouth and then he will have to relocate for some time to Hull. Susan and Graham are both doing well. Susan is planning a career in modern music, playing drums, guitar and piano, but backing that all up with science subjects, I think. Lorna is very happy teaching numeracy to adults, Adam finding business brisk at the garage as people are repairing cars rather than buying new ones! Julianne is controlling her epilepsy with medication and doing very well, and Paul seems to be enjoying school in spite or assuring us that he doesn’t like school, full stop!!! The latter are coming over for Christmas, which we are looking forward to.
Our choir has been busy all year doing some lovely summer concerts. We have just performed our last pre-christmas one in a small church in Canillo, surrounded by snow, and so Christmasy. Of course, we were wonderful!!
We hope everyone is surviving the worldwide money crisis. We are suffering badly as changing sterling into euros is traumatic. We don’t get any increments to our U.K. pension either. However we are so happy here in Andorra!
Our good wishes come with this letter for a wonderful Christmas and a happy healthy New Year.

Love Jimmy and Barbara


Clair said...

Oh God. Shoot me if I ever get like that. And that letter's even put me off listening to Andorra by Colin Blunstone...

office pest said...

That is remarkable. Now all you have to do is get Patricia Routledge or Alan Bennett to sit and read it to camera, and hey presto 'instant classic'.

Matthew Rudd said...

I have a very religious second cousin who fails to take an interest in anyone she is related to, even for major occasions like weddings and funerals, but sends what my dear old grandma used to call "the epistle according to Saint Peggy" every Christmas, presuming we gave a toss about her.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I read all of that, and now I've just sent out for some top-grade crack and a couple of whores (preferably disease-ridden).

Bright Ambassador said...

"I have gone into rather a lot of detail here"
You don't say.

"We are suffering badly as changing sterling into euros is traumatic. We don’t get any increments to our U.K. pension either."

"Of course, we were wonderful!!"
Nothing like blowing your own trumpet, is there?

I get one every year from a a cousin in Kent asking if I'm getting married. I always feel like writing back and telling her to mind her own bloody business.

I'm thinking of writing one for next year. All entirely fictional of course.

Chris Hughes said...

I have never received or even seen a "round robin", so I've always been mildly bemused by the attention they get in "wry" columns in the Guardian or Times. So thanks for sharing!! (double exclamation marks)

My favourite bit is "He has a special chair acquired from a lady that no longer needs it." Well, you'd hope so (although, on reflection, am I meant to take it that she's dead?)

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

That is a pretty classic example of the genre!

When I was living in a shared house, we sent out a spoof round robin one year, listing various crimes we were wanted for and that sort of thing. I vaguely wish I'd kept a copy, but it probably wasn't as funny as I remember it being...

BPP said...

Is this a joke?

Five-Centres said...

She's always done this much detail, and it's always been full of illnesses. It's my favourite.

Beth said...

"However we are so happy here in Andorra!"

This reeks of isolation, loneliness and despair. Fortunately, they will never be able to afford to come back.