We spent Christmas at Stroanfreggan with the whole family (8 adults and six grandchildren) and had a great time. Several beautiful sunny days and also some frost and snow – you can see some of the action HERE
2014 has been a busy and very enjoyable year. After Dorothea’s 90th birthday in April and a week in Stroanfreggan afterwards, the next big family event was the wedding of nephew Joe Dunthorne in June. There was a splendid party in a large private garden in Brighton. From there we went to Beccles to stay with Ruth and Mike for a few days before heading up to Stroanfreggan for nearly five weeks.
|Building the tree house
while a tea party is in progress
|Lonnie and Patricia|
|Measuring the water in our spring|
|Magda shifting gravel|
The weather was glorious and there were no midges. When we arrived the garden was a meter high in grass that took three of us an afternoon of non-stop labour to cut, rake and remove. The vegetable patch was left as a field of clover, full of many species of bees. We had several visitors in addition to family; friends from Denmark and a Polish friend, Magda who sang in the Bach choir with Keith. She came for a couple of days and stayed for ten, digging the garden, shifting gravel and cleaning all the windows.
I loved being there and left the house just three times the whole of our stay. Keith and I painted woodwork and experimented with painting the floors, sewed cushion covers, put up blinds and curtains, built a shoe rack, a loft ladder, stacked 2 tons of logs, rebuilt a bed, improved the tree house, filled holes in the walls and planted herbs and fruit bushes (gifts from Cathie). We sorted out the water leaks with the Council and also got the heating system commissioned.
Since then, there have been several other visitors including niece, Anna with her baby, Luke and husband Marc, who painted the doors and windows. Now, we are looking forward to Christmas, with 14 of us in a warm, comfortable house with enough space (and showers) for everyone – that was my ”dream” when we started all the renovations. I am increasingly enjoying painting and have finally ”come out”. You can see my efforts on watercolours.kandp.dk
The family are well and flourishing and living pretty much as they were last year. The grandchildren, of course are getting bigger. Sam has started playing the cello, playing rugby and doing Judo. Sister Emma is a good reader and as bright and lively as ever, ”little” Lucy is no longer so little and a great spiderman fan. Rosie, is doing really well at school and always seems to be busy with some creative project. When we Skyped last week, Evie was almost a ”Rainbow reader”, so she probably is by now. James, now at a new pre-school, is hooked on dinosaurs and very knowledgeable about them. We saw a video of him learning to read and recite in Mandarin.
Our life in Copenhagen has changed very little and we enjoy living here. The bike lanes and bridges continue to improve, the car traffic diminishes, but there is still huge disruption caused by the interminable Metro ring construction. We go to lots of concerts and other events and there have been quite a few visitors. I still work on papers, book chapters, reviews and some teaching and talks, but with far less travel. That leaves more time for singing and playing music with friends. There are four concerts lined up in February and March next year with a madrigal group and the Bach choir. I spent a week in Cambridge in August for the baroque week of the Early Music Summer School