News at Christmas2011

This weekend we finally got to meet Lucy Claire, who was born on 25 November and is a lovely, big, alert baby. She seems to take all the bustle going on around her in a very tranquil way and Sam and Emma are already including her in their activities.

The family are going to be spread out over Christmas. Patricia and I will be on our own in Copenhagen, but since we haven’t seen each other for a while that is probably quite a good thing.

The Copenhagen Bach choir, which I sing in, has just finished three performances of the Christmas Oratorio and tomorrow we start rehearsing the St Matthew Passion for Easter. Next weekend I’m singing in a Nine Lessons and Carols concert with a terrific little choir in North Sjaelland.

Since the last blog entry here we have been busy with finalising the plans for building an extension at the back of Stroanfreggan and with a two week trip to the Cook Islands in late September. You can see pictures of these and other trips on our web album. Building work on Stroanfreggan should start early in the new year as the permissions and tenders are almost all complete – here’s a plan showing the new layout. The aim is to have a warm kitchen, a west-facing sitting/dining room that takes advantage of the best views, a bathroom, shower room and toilet and a corridor that takes the traffic away from the two old downstairs rooms. Sam and I have also made a tree house that we should finish next summer.

This is Patricia writing now! I’ve certainly enjoyed my first year in retirement. It began with two months in Hobart where I volunteered with the Migrant Resource Centre. Then I went on for six weeks to Hong Kong to help Luke and Lisa with James. Right from a few weeks old when you held him up he made running movements with his legs and loved kicking a ball. Lisa is sure he’s going to play for Arsenal one day. Luke finally completed his PhD at an awesome viva at the University in Amsterdam and now he is consulting free-lance. Keith and I spent a month in the summer at Stroanfreggan checking out the best Internet connection (the best is not very good), and just enjoying being there. We were joined for a week by Matthew and Alice and Sam and Emma, who swam and played in the burn almost every day. In September I celebrated my 65th birthday in Edinburgh with all the family, and that meant with the then five grandchildren. From mid November  to mid December I have been been occupied full-time as a granny, first with Rosie and Evie while Ruth had a long case that she had to work on 20 hours a day and Mike was away filming. Then I went on up to Edinburgh to be on hand to take and collect Sam and Emma from school and playgroup while Lucy settles into life. As Keith wrote, it will be just us two for this Christmas; it will give us plenty of opportunity to finally see the fifth series of “The Wire”.

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