Wednesday 27 December 2023

Barry and Julia Christmas Letter 2023

We are all still the right side of the grass! As we get older this is sadly not always the case with our friends and family. Early in the year we travelled to Norfolk for the funeral of our cousin Barbara. Sadly she was not the only one we lost during the year. We pray for those we have lost and offer our love and prayers to their family and friends. As we get older, we are susceptible to aches and pains! Julia has been diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). She is having therapy for this and hopefully by the New Year there will be an improvement.
Our year continued much as always. Various trips to our lodge in Devon. Meetings with our friends from college days. A family lunch in Stratford–upon-Avon (more or less equidistant for all of us). Church was somewhat busier than usual as our parish priest was ill for several months which meant we all had more to do. Hopefully he is well on the road to recovery and will be back in harness before Christmas.
The ultimate event of the year was the surprise family gathering for Julia’s “21st” birthday celebration which we held on the last weekend of October. She knew that Lawrie, Emma and the grandchildren were coming down as it was Henry's and Georgia's half-term. What she did not know was that Hélèna and Sam were also coming down from Stockport, staying with Andrew and Gaew. Julia and I had celebrated the actual day with a few days away in Norfolk.
We all gathered at our place on the Friday. Then on Saturday/Sunday we had a family party, helped along by a large delivery of food and drink from Waitrose. The Monday saw some of us at Horniman's Museum at Forest Hill - well worth a visit if you have not been. The unexpected highlight of the trip was meeting the pest controller!! He had a Harris Hawk which was being used to keep the pigeons away. He was a lovely guy and let the children get close to the bird. Tuesday Lawrie and I took Henry and Georgia to Greenwich Park, the Maritime Museum and a walk under the Thames, a great day. This coming Christmas and New Year will be spent at “Mellish Mansions” along with the family for all or part of the time.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas with Good Health and much happiness for 2024.
With all our love and prayers, Barry and Julia

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