Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Round robin

Dear friends and relatives

First of all apologies to all of you who hate round robins. I’m afraid that we are just too busy to reward our loving, caring, generous and well-deserving friends and relatives with a detailed calligraphic & handwritten note of everything that’s happened in our lives over the past couple of years or so. Secondly, apologies for not even sending a round robin note to anyone last Christmas. We were even busier – moving house amongst other things!

Anyway the past couple of years have been pretty excellent and eventful for us. Phil managed to get a training post in A&E which he is really loving – based in Yorkshire. We bought a house here in Leeds – right at the height of house prices to the very day. Chapel Allerton is a villagey suburb on the Harrogate Road about 2 miles from Leeds City Centre. It’s not quite as diverse as Stoke Newington, but Chapeltown is getting there and that’s a 2 minute walk from where we are now.

For the past year I have been commuting weekly to London to carry on my role as Partnership Support Officer at a ‘highly commended’ NHS organisation very close to where I’ve been living in London. Apart from the financial aspect to this arrangement, I have thoroughly enjoyed this – 18 hours a week is perfect working time. I’ve absolutely loved studying for my MA in Contemporary British History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, which I’ve done alongside the NHS work. And today is the start of a one year career break from that to concentrate on finishing the MA in Leeds! Brilliant. I’m a very lucky woman. The NHS is great for career breaks.

I certainly wouldn’t be able to pursue my ambitions without the support of the wonderful Phil – we are very much still newly weds and hoping the honeymoon period will last a good 15 years at least! I hope I’m not putting words in Phil’s mouth when I say that our wedding day was the happiest day of our lives – thanks to all of you who shared it with us. And for those of you that couldn’t– we hope to see you in 2009!

The past couple of years in time has inevitably brought ups and downs. A few people have died, and there have been some new arrivals. We hope we have helped support those friends and relatives who have been bereaved. And we hope we haven’t hogged the bundles of joy that have arrived!

I was elected a public Governor of Homerton Hospital in September 07. Unfortunately I can’t think of anything non-controversial to say about that. My advice to anyone thinking of standing for Governor is, perhaps not to take on ten other things at the same time as moving out of the area.

Phil has created a geek’s paradise in our living room. We remortgaged with Northern Rock to fund the remote control alone. Phil got advice from a nice American chap called Madoff and capitalised on our lack of capital investing our debt in computer equipment. We now have four different methods of playing computer games. The Wii, Sony Playstation, the Xbox and the PC. I cashed in my Lehman Brothers shares at a convenient moment to fund the garden landscaping. [Joke].

In fact I wish I had/have more time for gardening. I seem to be spending inordinate amounts of time writing essays. The difference between now and 1995 when I was last doing this is that now I enjoy it. Or think I do.

The most recent exciting event was Pete and Candy’s September wedding in Bali and Hong Kong. What a brilliant time we had! The wedding in Bali in the ‘chapel in the clouds’ overlooking the sea was breathtaking. Pete and Candy looked stunning and we had a great little party in the villa by (and in) the pool afterwards when we all let our hair down. A week later was the Hong Kong banquet where we got thoroughly and pleasingly immersed in Hong Kong culture, with various tea exchanges for little red envelopes of cash. Phil gave a great best man’s speech. Pete and Candy are such generous, patient and caring hosts and made us feel totally at home – spoiling me in particular taking me to all the museums. We can’t wait to go back!

My brother may as well live in Hong Kong – he has probably been in this country as long as Pete last year. But I think this indicates his career is on the up which can’t be bad. Joe has worked with his partner Aoife in a new band called Rodina. They have an amazing brand new album - out now!

Apart from our big holiday to Hong Kong and Bali, we’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of little minibreaks. We went to Burgh Island, just off the Torquay coast to celebrate our first wedding anniversary in the spring. In November we had a marvellous time narrowboating from Leighton Buzzard to Milton Keynes, a birthday present for me.

Hopefully see you soon, keep in touch

Lots of love

Anna and Phil xxx

1 comment:

Jameilla said...

Happy New Year to you too. I still have a cook book of yours and your Mighty Boosh DVDs. I could bring them over one weekend and we could have some lunch or something. I've started writing on my blog again if you fancy a read. Jameilla x