Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Lord and Lady Mellish

For part of our Golden Wedding Anniversary present our children bought us the title to the Manor of Hogun. This means that Julia and I are entitled to be addressed as Lord Barry and Lady Julia! Below is the crest that we can use - I must add that this is nothing to do with being a peer of the realm - just a bit of fun.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Why go to University?

 For the past number of years university has become the "must have" when people leave school. It is the thing to do, whether it is the best option or not. In more recent years there has been the beginnings of a kickback against this and things such as apprenticeships are being explored and not just craft apprenticeships. 

This interesting article in the Guardian asks what is the future of conventional universities when things are now happening online - shades of the Open University?

Click here for the article

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Mellish Christmas Newsletter (Christmas 2020)

 That was the year that was, its over let it go.” Those of you who were watching TV in England in 1962/63 may well remember “That Was the Week That Was” affectionately known as TW3 a satirical TV programme (  Well, 2020 is almost over (thank heavens) and all we can do is pray that 2021 will bring some good news and cheer – the end to the pandemic will be a good starter for ten. At the time of writing there is the promise that vaccines will soon be rolled out on a large scale. Hope springs eternal from the human breast that this will put paid to all the lockdown and all the Tiers/tears.

We had a great time last Christmas although it seems far longer than a year ago. My cousin, Nena, who lives on the Norfolk/Suffolk border joined us. We had a really good time; the only problem was a shortage of sleep as we never seemed to go to bed before the early hours of the morning! On the 28th we all went up to London and had a meal with son-in-law Sam’s family. Our one mistake was not to take a group photo – we were too busy having fun.



January and February were, as is usual, relatively quiet months. On Match 15th we went to Devon to open the Lodge. David came with us and we had a lovely few days going out and about together. The storm clouds that are Covid were gathering over mainland Europe, but keeping away from others was not too difficult on the vast expanse of Dartmoor. 

We had always planned to come home on Monday 23rd March which is just as well really, as it was that evening that our beloved prime minister declared the lockdown. 

Most of the next few months were spent indoors or in the garden, it has never looked so good thanks to Julia’s hard work. My role was to keep the supplies of tea/coffee going, and when the sun was over the yardarm to appear clutching a large G&T. The family were all ok throughout this. We were worried about Hélèna & Sam’s catering business, however they managed to secure work catering at a local hospital whose staff canteen was closed for refurbishment immediately prior to lockdown. 

When lockdown finished at the end of July, we planned to go to Halesowen to see Lawrie, Emma and the grandchildren. H&S were coming down from Stockport to join us, sadly the government imposed severe restrictions on Greater Manchester so they were not allowed to travel. This means that we have not seen them this year since the first week in January. We miss them, something I never thought I would say, particularly when we were living in the US and I was yelling and screaming at Hélèna in order to get her up for her 7:30am start at school (leaving home just before 7:00am)!

We had a wonderful time at Halesowen as we hadn’t seen the grandchildren at all (apart from on zoom) this year. Then we had the fabulous bonus of spending a week with Lawrie, Emma, Henry and Georgia at the Lodge in Devon. Sadly, this was over all too quickly. After a few days with Julia and I just together (how sweet and romantic!!!).

After a few weeks of freedom which included a birthday meal present from Andrew & Gaew at Petrus, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, and a treat to ourselves at Gauthier Soho (great for veggies/vegans and omnivores). We also managed a couple of trips to London to Tate Britain and Tate Modern – Aubrey Beardsley and Andy Warhol before it was lockdown again! 

Hélèna, Sam, Andrew and Gaew managed to see each other in the Lake District – A&G were there as they could not travel to Thailand this year.

My cousin Nena was 90 in October. A family party had been planned, but Covid put paid to that. Instead, there has been a series of smaller gatherings. Julia, David and I managed to be with her on her birthday and took her out for lunch at a local pub.

As I am writing this, we in Greater London, are just emerging into Tier 2 following a few interminable weeks of lockdown. We are now trying to figure out what we will be doing at Christmas. We are only allowed three households to gather together – and there are four of us!! This is a conundrum that would tax even “Solomon in all his glory”! Although the lockdown has ended, we are being urged to stay indoors as much as possible – particularly the elderly – it appears that Julia and I fall into this category something I deeply resent as we are barely middle-aged!! This means that most of Christmas cards will be email ones this year particularly ones to all our friends overseas as we don’t fancy joining the long queues at the post office.

We pray that you and your loved ones are safe and well and surviving all the vicissitudes that the pandemic is bringing. With all our love and prayers for a Happy Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous and Covid Free 2021.

Barry, Julia and all the Family