Christmas 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

We have had another very happy and busy year. In fact 2017 has been the busiest since our children left home! This has a lot to do with us looking after Miss Florence McNelly for two days a week. She’s an absolute delight to have around; we feel very privileged to have her.

As every parent knows, you don’t get much else done when you have a baby around, so all our other activities get compressed into what remains of the week. Some things have gone a bit awry I am afraid. We are sorry if you have been neglected by us this year!

We had the joy in February 2017 of another baby being born into ‘The Hill Tribe’. Charlotte and Joe have a son called Stephen Edward Perry (Ted for short – after Annie’s Dad). Joe was present at the birth, but he had to go back to Hong Kong when Ted was only one week old. Charlotte was not able to go over for another two months, which was difficult for all three of them.

Anna Jane broke up with her fiancé Oli and that was very sad, but happily she has a new boyfriend called George. They’re on holiday in the USA right now!

In May we flew to Hong Kong and had a lovely holiday with Joe and Charlotte and baby Ted near their house in Lamma Island.  We stayed in a small hotel overlooking the harbour, and had great fun watching the birds, fishermen, people and boats.  We found the Hong Kong climate a bit of a challenge (very warm and humid), and the mosquitos even more so!  The funniest episode was when we blagged our way to the very top of the university building roof (very high up) only to find that the door we came through was self-locking, and we were stuck. After much searching we found a second stairway on the outside of the building (yikes!) and after wandering around and trying several more locked doors, we found some workmen, and sneaked back in.

Other bits of ‘Big News’ are that we have two more grandchildren to look forward to in May 2018! Vicki and Stephen are expecting their third baby, and Rob and Summer are expecting their first baby. Gordon and Libby will be getting married in August 2018. These are such happy times for us.

Our ‘children’ are all doing very well.  Keeping busy, happy and productive.  Not much has changed with their jobs etc since last Christmas.  Some are buying a house, some are hoping to move house, and for some that is still quite a way off.  Housing is certainly the biggest challenge for all of them and we are doing what we can to help.

We both still enjoying our Church. Annie does Street Pastoring, Foodbank, creche at church and pastoral work. Howard has had to move to the Street Pastor reserves due to both sciatica and knee problems, but still plays in the worship band and does sound engineering every few weeks.  Our Christian friends are a loving and supportive bunch and our lives are good with them in it.

At the last count Howard was in 10 bands! So his evenings, weekends and some weekdays are pretty full with gigs. This is sometimes a bit tricky as he still works full-time as a director of First Ideas Limited (website design and hosting). Thankfully, his wonderful co-director Annie does most of the financial admin and that’s all working out really well.

We have had some great holidays this year. Hong Hong in May, Lake District in July, Swanage in August, France in September and Scotland in November.  With the narrowing gaps in-between, that is also a reason we have been so busy.

We hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas, and we pray that God will help you and bless you in 2018.

All our love, Howard and Annie xxx