Christmas 2016

Dear Folks,

Apologies to anyone who likes to receive a real card in the post.  That task is just one too many for me these days.

We enjoy receiving all the handwritten cards though, and hearing all your news.  So, many thanks to anyone who has sent us one.  And we are just as happy to get emails, texts, Facebook messages and E Cards.  All greetings and good wishes are welcome 🙂

Here is news in brief from our family.  If you want to know more, drop me an email and I will reply personally.

We are very grateful for all our lovely family and friends.  Our life is better with you in it, even if we haven’t seen you for a while.  We are very keen on visiting people and catching up, so if you would like to spend some time with us in 2017, invite us to come round!  Or ask to visit us – that is equally acceptable, we enjoy having visitors too.

Happy Christmas and much love to you all,
Annie and Howard xxx

So here we are, rapidly moving towards the end of yet another year.  Despite the awful things that have happened all over the world in 2016, we have had a good year.

For Howard – lots of music, photography and friends.  For Annie – lots of dancing, walking and friends.  For both of us some lovely holidays, special time spent with our children and their other halves, and we are now the proud grandparents of Miss Florence McNelly!

As you will see below, a lot of our best times have been tied in with the happy things that have been happening in the lives of our six kids.  We are so very proud of all of them!

Some sad things have happened too.  We have lost a few more of our dear friends and family members, some at a good old age, some much too soon.  We think of them with love, and gratitude for the happy times we have spent together.

Jamie and Kat now live in a pretty cottage in Warwickshire.  Jamie is still working for Thames Valley Police, and is driving to and from work a lot.  Kat is training to be a Police Officer with West Midlands Police, having worked as a PCSO for a few years with Thames Valley (which is where she met Jamie). Both are shift workers and that’s not easy! They are pictured at the Wantage Mummers’ Day on Boxing Day.

Vicki and Stephen have had a hard time since their first baby, Evie, died in June 2015.  However they have been very open about their struggles, and have got help when they needed it.

Their second baby, Florence, was born on July 3rd 2016, and she has been a great source of joy in their lives.

Also during that time Stephen has had a career change, and now works for Dyno Rod.  Although Vicki was made redundant when she started her maternity leave, she is going to use it as an opportunity to do something different.

Joe now has a job as a lecturer in Linguistics in Hong Kong University and Charlotte is pregnant with their first baby. Joe went to Hong Kong while Charlotte had to teach one more term in Cambridge.  Joe came back to receive his PhD.  This photo was taken in King’s College on Graduation Day.

Although life is quite complicated at present, they have both coped well with these changes.  Charlotte is going to give birth to their baby in the UK, (hopefully with Joe present), and then all three of them will be going out to live in Hong Kong.  We have already got our tickets to visit them in May!

Gordon and Libby got engaged in April 2016. They will be getting married in the summer of 2018.  This is wonderful news and we are delighted!

They have just bought their first house, and are in the process of decorating.  We haven’t seen it yet, but we hope to soon!  Their new home is in Gloucestershire, not far from Burford.

Gordon and Libby are both doing well in their jobs.  Libby is a dentist and Gordon is the IT and Marketing Manager for a company based near to their new house.

Rob and Summer got married in May 2016 – it was a wonderful wedding and reception.  As you can see from this photo they are very happy!

They have bought their own house in Market Lavington, Wiltshire, where they live with Milo, their Jack Russell Terrier. They all love the outdoors and can often be seen walking the Wiltshire downs together.

Rob is doing well as a bricklayer and Summer has set up her own business as a beautician.

Anna Jane (mostly known as AJ) and Oliver (mostly known as Oli) have had a difficult year in some ways.  Their beloved Mango Dalmatian, died in March 2016 but they got another puppy (Puddle) very soon afterwards (see photo).

AJ has set up her own business as a dog walker, and has qualified as a ‘Special Constable’. She hopes one day to be an RSPCA inspector.

AJ and Oli got engaged in August 2016 and have planned their wedding for May 12th 2018.  Brilliant!

And here she is!  Our lovely baby grand-daughter Florence.  As you can see, she is beautiful and smiley and growing up fast.

We send you all much love, and our very best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a great year in 2017!

Annie and Howard xxx
Christmas 2016