As the title implies this year seems to have shot by at an ever increasing rate of knots. (As the year has flown by one should use an aeronautical term to describe its passing).
|The family at Christmas|
Christmas 2015 was spent at home. Hélèna and Sam were not with us but joined us on the 27 December. We had a good time marred by an accident to Emma. One evening whilst sat round the dining table she slipped and fell breaking her collar bone! As Lawrie is a policeman on shift work Emma could not easily look after a two year old with only one arm - so Emma and Henry stayed with us for January, this meant lots of days out for his grandparents. Lawrie joined us on his rest days.
|With Auntie Hélèna and Uncle Sam at Greenwich|
|By the Thames|
|The Prime Meridian|
|In the woods near our lodge|
|North Devon Coast|
|A rather rotund Barry|
|Some of the ladies|
|Some of the men|
We had several trips to the lodge in Devon and for us the high spot in the year was in July when we celebrated our sapphire wedding anniversary (45 years).
|Reaffirming our wedding vows at Mass|
|In the evening at home with Veronica|
|A nice touch|
|Recovering afetr the meal and trip to the top!|
One of the other major celebrations of the year was son-in-law Sam's thirtieth birthday. this was celebrated in North Wales with his family. Andrew, Gaew, Lawrie, Emma and Henry, Julia and myself plus assorted Dugdale's were there. Some camped - we stayed in a B&B!!!
|The birthday cake|
|In the water|
|Monster from the deep|
Two very dear American friends, Tim and Pat came over and stayed with us for a couple of weeks in September. They had been so kind to us when we lived there and when we went over in 2014 that it was good to be able to reciprocate. Apart form London, we took them to Stonehenge, Salisbury (Magna Carta) and Devon and Cornwall. We had a great time and we think that they did.
|Chapel at the Royal Naval College|
|By the Cutty Sark|
|Lunching at Brighton|
|Lunching at Brighton|
|At Slapton Sands|
|Leaving the Lodge|
In October Julia and I went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. It was a wonderful experience and a very special time for both of us
|Julia on the way to site of the first apparaition|
|Barry proclaiming the Gospel|
The final happy event of the year was a four day trip to Donegal in Ireland for the wedding of Emma's brother Thomas. We had a great time and managed to visit the Giants Causeway on the way back to Belfast Airport.
|Lawrie and Henry - Henry was the ring bearer.|
|The wedding party|
|By the water in Donegal with Lawrie, Henry and Emma|
|At Giant's Causeway|
|A cold looking sea!|
Inevitably there were some sad moments during the year, two very good friends Tony Bargery and Malcolm Tomlinson died. Tony had a stroke a couple of years ago and never ully recovered. We had known Tony for over 45 years and I spent six months living with him and his wife Christine when we first went to Canterbury.
Malcolm was a friend of 35 years or so. We met when David started at St Joseph's Primary School and remained friends ever since. I conducted his funeral service which was an honour and a privilege. I just pray that I did him justice.
I turn 70 next year as do two old college friends John and Martin. We have booked a couple of nights away in Dorset along with our wives. It should be great fun assuming that we all make it to next October!
Wishing you and yours all the very best for 2017 - HAPPY CHRISTMAS
Barry and Julia