Xmas 2017

Another rollercoaster year comes to an end with a feeling that things are looking up. I was in Hong Kong in February and came back to the news that Dorothea, Keith’s mother had just died. She spent her last months very well looked after in Findlay House Community Hospital and her funeral on 21st March was packed to overflowing with family, old friends and a large contingent from the Jewish Association that she had joined quite recently (who were very adamant that they were not religious). We gave her a warm farewell with lots of fond memories, humour and music. Keith had been singing and recording Purcell’s Funeral Music for Queen Mary on the day Dorothea died, so that was the music that people came in to.

The other lowlight of the year was learning early March that my cancer had come back. I had chemotherapy and then a big operation in October, but can now report that I am finally getting my strength back. Keith has been a magnificent carer and Ruth, Matthew and Luke’s visits made all the difference. If you want to know the details, then please look at my blog, patricia.kandp.dk

The best things have been family events, especially Keith’s 70th birthday celebrations, of which there were several. On the actual day, May 22nd, we were at Stroanfreggan with his sisters Kirstine and Alison, their husbands and Matthew and family. We then moved on to a garden party at Gothic House with the Beccles family and friends and in September we arranged for Blowzabella, a fabulous folk/dance band we have known for 40 years, to come over to Copenhagen and play a ceilidh to celebrate our joint 70ths with about 100 Danish friends at Koncert Kirken (where we work as volunteers).

With Jill and Phredd in Beccles

Early autumn we said goodbye to our cat, Oscar, born 15 years ago as a feral kitten in our cellar. He was becoming increasingly incontinent and I was worried about the risks of infection due of my chemo-damaged immune system.

Stroanfreggan continues to be a mixed joy. The garden is looking lovely as is the new house sign made collectively by our three children, their spouses and grandchildren (”the cousins”). They all spent a happy week together there in July, which is how we dreamed it would be used, but the upkeep is not easy, especially when we have been prevented from going there by the ongoing cancer treatment. The mice recently ate through plastic joints on the upstairs radiators, which shut down heating system on the day Matthew and family arrived. A couple of days ago the UV filter on the water supply shattered in the frost just before Kirstine and family were due to arrive.

The windfarm proposal has not yet been finally killed although the Dumfries and Galloway Planning Committee turned down the latest application, which is now under appeal with the Scottish Government. Carsphairn Community Council wrote: ”At our recent public meeting, the Planning Committee’s decision to refuse planning permission for this development was unanimously supported by members of the public.” Our fingers are crossed that the adjudicator appreciates the damage the project would do to the archeological remains and special landscape.

BlackByrd singing in Koncert Kirken

Keith sings regularly in the Copenhagen Bach Choir and BlackByrd (in photo above) and is a stalwart of the Vesterbro Repair Cafe: he’s the man on the sewing machine for all those who want their much loved jeans repaired.

This Christmas we will be in Copenhagen and New Year we will be with Ruth and Mike, Matthew and Alice and 5 grandchildren, Rosie, Evie, Sam, Emma and Lucy in Beccles. Next summer we intend to be all together in Stroanfreggan, also with Luke, Lisa, James and Henry. So looking forward to a healthy and happy 2018.

You can see lots more photos HERE