September 2021: A week with Fletch and Celia in Villecroze, South France
July 2021: A few days in the Cotswolds, dinner with family and friends
Ron and Marians' 60th Wedding Anniversary
June 2021: Redecorated bedroom and new carpet.
1 2 3
May 2021: First guests since lockdown.
Emma, Donna and Lucy called in on the way to their hols.
10 Blue Tit eggs in one of the bird boxes, and 8 of them survived to fly the nest.
Second covid jabs, no side effects - result :-)
February 2021: 27th - We had our covid vaccinations - hopefully the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
December 2020: Quietest Christmas
dinner ever !
Kitchen lighting revamped, and kitchen and hall decorated
September - November: More of not a lot happened. Nikki and Matt continued to work from home, I was back at Hawkeye one or two days a week.
Harvested lots from the greenhouse, tomatoes, melons (including a watermelon!), chillies and peppers.
June to August 2020: Not a lot happened, holidays to France and Crete cancelled. Nikki and Matt continued to work from home.
July - managed to pop a lumbar disk, so an MRI, then 6 weeks rest, and steroid injection into my spine.
End of August, finally back at work after 6 months, still very quiet.
April and May 2020: Early April Matt started a new job at
Perkier Foods as supply chain and finance executive.
Covid19 pandemic. John furloughed (Hawkeye closed), Nikki and Matt both working from home.
Furloughed, so building a new greenhouse.
March 2020: Illegal Eagles at Woking
a , b Holiday in South Africa
January 2020: John went in for a right knee arthroscopy, this is becoming a habit...
Spotted the squirrels have moved into the box made for the Parrokeets
December 2019: Before Christmas, the
came round for lunch
Christmas Day, a little quieter than usual
pic 1, pic 2, Xmas news letter available :-)
November 2019: Matt in hospital for another repair to his knee (same one as January), but recovering much quicker this time. However, still no rugby till at least next season.
Great day at Twickenham, watching rugby, the BaaBaas take on Fiji
1, 2, 3, Went to Cahon to see the
just "nipped" over there for lunch :-)
lunch, great to see the Pitts, Stevelies, Robinsons, Pawluks, Daniels and Sue.
October 2019: Nikki went to the One2One diet convention in Telford and was called onto stage to be thanked for all her hard work - in front of 2000 people!
John back to one or two days a week at Hawkeye, much more civilised.
September 2019: Holiday in a little villa about 3 miles from Corfu town, Corfu
August 2019: Time for a car change, bought a Mazda 6 to replace the aging Avensis
July 2019: Holiday with Fletch and Celia in the south of France
March 2019: Holiday at Safari Lodge Kambaku, South Africa for a week
Matt started a new job at Hawkeye, in Logistics - father and son in the same office!
January 2019: New Years day at the Stevelies with the BBC crowd
Matt at home for a couple of weeks recovering from knee surgery
December 2018: BBC crowd for lunch
Christmas with Matt and Lucy, and Steven, Mandy and Benjamin - Matt and his new car !
Xmas news letter available :-)
November 2018: Party at Phil and Sians for their 20th wedding anniversary
Four days in Cologne for John for work.
A weekend at Telford for Nikkis convention and Manchester visiting Matt n Lucy.
and 30 years since Nikki and I had our first date !
October 2018: Matt n Lucy home for the weekend, before his day skipper course
Weekend in Devon with Liz and Richard
September 2018: Holiday - a week in Chania, Crete - relaxing :-)
Lunch with Myk & Yvonne at the Swan, Pangbourne
August 2018: Matt & Lucy home for a week, party on Friday night,
and lunch with the Singers and Ramsays on Sunday
5 days a week stretch at Hawkeye finished, back to 2 days a week.
July 2018: Holidays - a week in Kitzbuhel, Austria, walking in the Alps
May 2018: John back to work full time - lots of OB vans to build for Hawkeye
A weekend in Dunster with the Stevelies
April 2018: Caroline and Ollys' wedding, and the sun came out :-)
Lunch with Austraulian friends, wonderful to catch up and Matt and Lucy home too
Lunch in the New Forest with Jim and Sue, another lovely catch up
March 2018: A week photographing wildlife in the Kruger, South Africa
February 2018: Finally had the drive extended -
after - for the airport runs :-)
Traded the MkI leaf for a brand new LeafMkII - faster and further... (pics on the "cars" page)
Feb 17th, Matt and Lucy came down from Salford, and with Ron and Marian, and we scattered Uncle Ken's ashes at Woking Crematorium,
in the same place as Ken's brother Francis, his sister-in-law Yvonne, his mother Doris and his aunt Margery.
The poem "A Silent Tear" was read. Tribute and photos.
January 2018: Nice new year's day lunch with Stevelies and Daniels
Matt n Lucy headed back to their new flat in Salford
December 2017: Xmas news letter available :-)
November 2017: Matt and Lucy headed up to Manchester, and Matt then headed all over the country to various job interviews
Both of us very busy with work, thought it was meant to be part time!
October 2017: Matt and Lucy returned from 10 months of travelling.
A quick visit to Mick n Sue
John signed a permanent contract with Hawkeye, but only part (50%) time, i.e. 5 days a fortnight.
September 2017: Two week holiday in Rovinj, Croatia, weather could have been better on a couple of days, but had a great time.
A weekend in Whitby for Simon's and Emma Carpenter's Wedding.
Ross and Sarah-Jayne visited for a weekend on her 25th Birthday.
July and August 2017: Quite quiet really, with us both working (another 24 trucks for John to build for Hawkeye). Had a lovely meal at "Gaucho"
in Richmond to celebrate our 26th Wedding anniversary.
June 2017: A weekend in Dorset, visiting Sue and Mick, and Liz and Richard.
June 2017: A weekend in France, visiting the Pughcocks in Paris and the De Groulards in Abbeville.
May 2017: An evening with Robert Winston at Camberley theatre, with Myk and Yvonne - most interesting
Battersea's "Muddy Dog Challenge in Windsor Park - and muddy it was !
April 2017: a quiet month - had a nice weekend exploring and looking at houses in Noth Dorset, and decided that we'll probably stay where we are...
March 2017: 13th Uncle Ken's Funeral, followed by a wake at Great Fosters - over 75 people attended.
Tribute and photos.
23rd Holiday in Greneda,a wonderful 8 day rest at Sandals.
February 2017: 20th Sadly Uncle Ken passed away peacefully
after a three month stay in a care home and a battle with Alzheimers. We were with him. He was nearly 95, and will be greatly missed.
January 2017: Nice weekend in north Dorset to see Tony n Jules, Mick n Sue, and Pete n Debbie.
December 2016: A very quiet December and Christmas, but lovely to catch up with Fiona after far too long.
November 2016: An interesting visit to Iron Bridge while Nikki was at her Cambridge Convention,
and good to catch up with Ben and Catherine in Birmingham
Matt and Lucy headed off for travels, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Aussie, then who knows !
October 2016: Not great, Ken moved into the Manor, Old Windsor having had a week in hospital.
September 2016: a week in
where we had our honeymoon 25 years ago
August 2016: a weekend away seeing Sue and Mick, Sue and Lyn, and Myk and Yvonne - and bought new office shelves from Ikea...
July 2016: A quiet weekend retreat in Ludlow
Wedding Anniversary - a day in london, taking in the view from the Shard and lunch at Gauchos
Matts graduation in Manchester
New project, getting all old photos on my website. All 101 albums, thats about 20,000 photos, now there !
June 2016: Matt finishes university - how has that happened ? Proud parents moment as he gets a 2-1, graduation ceremony in July.
Myk and Yvonnes 110yrs party !
May 2016: Ted and Eileen stayed for a weekend at each end of their USA trip
David and Beryll stayed for a weekend, went to Windsor theatre to see "Jeckyll & Hyde" (not brilliant!), and a visit to Hampton Court which was much better.
A whole saturday with Battersea Dogs home in Windsor Park, followed by seeing Ben qualify for the world triathlon competition in Mexico at Eton Dorney.
April 2016: A weekend in the Cotswolds, and dinner with Ben and Catherine
An interesting evening at Camberley Theatre, An Evening with Saba Douglas Hamilton. All about conservation of elephants in Africa.
March 2016: Annual invasion of the rowers for the head of the river race, this time 12 ladies and a coach....
Matt home for a week at Easter, with some work at the sailing club.
February 2016: 6th - Dinner at Cote, Windsor, with Jim and Sue - good food, great company.
8th - John checked in to the Runnymede to get an Inguinal Hernia fixed.
January 2016: Busy start to the year, Nikki with lots of customers, John with some freelance work at the BFI
Matt had a placement at Colchester, so was home every weekend.
December 2015: Tree and
xmas lights :-) Christmas Lunch :-)
pic 1 pic 2 pic 3 A nice day at home with Uncle Ken, the Dyers and the Mulvaneys.
, with the Myk and Yvonne,Neil and Gabby, Steve and Barbara, and Mike and Caroline.
November 2015: Went to an impressive firework display at Windsor Racecourse with Jim and Sue
October 2015: Ken,
came out of hospital after nearly 4 weeks
lots of guests;
and Sarah-Jayne all stayed for a while
Davids poems are now on my website.
Had a fun evening at the great cockrow railway with Stephen and Benjamin
September 2015: Ken in hospital for treatment to leg ulcers
5th Johns contract with Hawkeye ends
9th holidays - a week in
August 2015: 29th trip to Manchester to take Matt back to Uni, had to cancel a quick visit to Susie, Simon and Emma due to concerns with Ken
July 2015: 4th, a day at Battersea dogs home, directing traffic !
Lunch with Sue and Mick,,
and Annne and Phillipe over from France
Tea at Cliveden House,,
with the Pawluks and Mulvaneys
30th, Matt went in for knee surgery, to repair a torn meniscus
June 2015: 27th To Chobham for a chinese meal with the BBC crowd
May 2015: 7th A weekend in Devon, exploring the Holsworthy area
dartmeet , and
1967 v 2015! Lots of work in the garden, including a new path to the far shed, and bricks and lights in front of the summerhouse and a new bridge for the treehouse !
after-3 , and the treehouse
before , and
after 14th Going to see the "Story of the Carpenters" at Camberley with Steve and Barbara
16th Some Dickensons staying for the weekend, that's Ted and Sarah, Chris and Trish, Amber and Bethany
18th - starting a 3 month contract with Hawkeye (a subsiduary of Sony) to help build some broadcast vans, at Basingstoke - no longer unemployed !!
April 2015: Lunch with the family for Ken's birthday.
mains , and
a cake !
Matt stayed for a week, then returned to Manchester to complete his 2nd year at Uni
Lunch with the Gomps, Ramsays, Loves and Laura, excellent food and great company :-)
mains , and
March 2015: John's acting "career" started, with a couple of extras roles in a new drama for Sky
Matt came down on the 28th and took part in the Head of the River race on the 29th, then 10 rowers came home afterwards for a party.
Lunch with the Singers at Bishops's Stortford.
February 2015: Holiday in South Africa,
at Ulusaba, Richard Branson's private game reserve, in the Kruger national park.
Lunch for Nikki's birthday at the Three Horseshoes, Laleham, and went to see Return to the Forbidden Planet at High Wycombe.
January 2015: John's started volunteering for the local branch of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
December 2014: 4th BBC "old Boys" annual xmas lunch - over 100 peeps.
8th Nikki went to Lynda's 70th birthday lunch at the Queen Inn, Dummer.
11th Xmas lunch with the NDS delivery crowd, nice to catch up with the work friends.
19th Simon and Emma Carpenter to visit.
24th - 29th - a few xmas pictures, from home and then Martin and Gabrielle's place for lunch with Aunt Sara
November 2014: Officially unemployed !
1st Mike and Caroline's Party, at the Steam Museum, Brentford.
3rd A day at Carey's Manor for some indulgence.
22nd Off to London to see the new version of Miss Saigon - fantastic, plus a wonderful meal at Gauchos Argentinian Restaurant first.
29th pre Christmas dinner at Mei, Chobham, with BBC friends.
October 2014: 3rd Quick visit to Whitby and Pately Bridge, visiting the Carpenters and the Staveleys
10th weekend in Chipping Camden, staying at the Eight Bells Inn, a quick visit to Wood Norton, and dinner with Ben and Catherine.
20th - Pat's funeral at Gillingham.
31st - made redundant from Cisco - what to do now ? that is a question !
September 2014: Nikki's knee replacement, which was healing nicely, failed. So she has to have the op again, a full replacement this time, and our holiday in Croatia,
near Dubrovnic has had to be cancelled.
John was offered a visit to the clock tower at Holloway College - fascinating.
29th Sept - sadly my Aunt
(Lawrence) passed away.
August 2014: John had two work trips to Turkey, Istanbul and Ankara.
Matt off to Crotia for a weeks sailing.
Nikki and I visiting friends and family for the bank holiday weekend.
July 2014: David and Beryl came down for a weekend, and Xavier visited as well. We went to see "The Buddy Holly Story" at Woking and had a family Sunday lunch.
Wedding anniversary, a present for Nikki
We also had a lovely lunch with the Pittaways on Saturday at the
Mill at Elstead
and dinner with the Pawluks and Mulvaneys at
Mei (Chobham) on Sunday evening.
John had two weeks in Germany, working for Sky-D.
Matt home, and working hard at the sailing club.
June 2014: Home built segway :-)
The rowers staying for three weekends !
May 2014: Matts first year exams,(did really well) then home for the summer.
Nikki at home recovering from knee op.
Redecorated downstairs wc, created a coat cupboard in the hall by adding a wall in the dining room, and added extra cupboards in the kitchen.
April 2014: 12th
David , Beryl and family came down for the weekend.
Matt also arrived a week earlier than planned having hurt his back.
Easter Weekend; Friday, John flew in from Turkey, Saturday Keith, Kisten and kids came to dinner,
Sunday family lunch
with Ken, , the Carpanis and the Dyers, and on Monday
John abseiled off the
Spinnaker tower in Portsmouth to raise money. Made £500 for cancer charity.
26th Matts 21st birthday - how did that happen?
Nikki in hospital for a partial knee replacement
and two more weeks in Turkey !
March 2014: Fun sunday lunch with BBC friends
(1) . (2) . (3) . Holiday - 10 days in Martinique :-)
New fence at the end of the garden, thanks to the storm.
Before and after. Benjamim stayed for a weekend, visit to Beckonscot was fun.
January 2014: Hover.com decided to cease my website address, so now this site has moved to www.jfpd.co.uk :-)
Work, John spent 3 weeks in Istanbul and Nikki got the highest number of
CWP customers ever !
December 2013: Dinner with Jim and Sue (6th)
Illegal Eagles in concert in Southampton (7th)
Dinner with Myk and Yvonne (14th)
16 for lunch on Christmas day, and home grown Turkey!
November 2013: Sue, Laura and Hannay for dinner (2nd)
Nikki off to Telford for cambridge convention (23rd) - Nikki wins "Above and Beyond" award.
Barclay James Harvest in concert in Southampton (23rd)
Lunch with Neil and Gabby etc (30th)
October 2013: Ben and Tordy s Wedding in Dubai (17th)
John in Turkey working (last 2 weeks)
September 2013: Matthew to return to Salford University (Manchester) but has decided to change course. He is now reading for a B.SC.Hons. in
Sports Rehabilitation. Sunday lunch with Myk and Yvonne at the Swan, Pangbourne. (16th)
Dinner with John and Suzi (29th)
Replaced Matthew's "Red Chevvy" (Matiz) with a Peugeot estate Fleetwood Bac in concert, Southampton(28th)
August 2013: Matthew returned to Salford for a couple of retakes (oops!)
Visits from Tordy and family before the big wedding in Dubai in October
Visit from Henrik and his 2 kids, over from Denmark
Lunch with the BBC crowd
June 2013: John spent the first two weeks in Capetown (for work) would have been better in the summer!
16 Rowers stayed for the weekend of Ladies Henly - much reorganising of bedrooms and inflatable mattresses required
Theatre trips to see Jimmy Carr and Rocky Horror
John and Matthew (and 28,000 others) did the London to Brighton bike ride, and both succeeded in cycling up the Ditchling hill
May 2013: We all went to Hartlepool for the funeral of Dorothy Dickenson (John's Aunt). She was 97 when she passed away.
March 2013: A busy month workwise, with trips to Turkey and Israel.
Fun family lunches to celebrate John's and Ken's birthdays. 24th . 29th . 31st .
February 2013: A week in the sun, to St Lucia, to escape the grey of the UK :-)
Matthew gained a place in Salford 1st 8-man rowing team.
Tordy and Sue stayed for a few days, to find wedding dresses.
January 2013: After a really busy and fun xmas, on new year's eve we had an early night and no house guests !
Tony and Juliet stayed from time to time, while looking for a flat in the area.
The Eastleigh house needed a new boiler, and we started generating our own electricity with photo-voltaics on the roof at Simons Walk.
December 2012: Xmas photos,
Nash family all round on the 1st.
Unexpected tax refund, so bought a
new bed !
Went to Wembley to see the live version of Jeff Waynes "War of the Worlds", with Marti Pellow and Jason Donavan.
October/November 2012: John off to Istanbul (again) and Minsk (Belarus)
NDS taken over by Cisco - John now working for a company of 75,000 employees.
Matthew settling in at Uni, joins rowing club and has a girlfriend.
September 2012: John off to Oslo again
Matthew off to Salford to study aircraft engineering, and Nikki and John stay with Kieth and Kristen, then a long weekend with Susie Carpenter and family
August 2012: Matthew working at sailing club, Nikki recupriating from op.
Nice weekend with family from north and west, organised by Matthew.
July 2012: 5th - Matt back from 7 months seeing the world. :-)
14th - Hog roast at home to celebrate 21st wedding anniversary
3rd log cabin under construction, this one is a summerhouse with a hottub and a sauna.
Nikki into hospital for hand op
June 2012: 2nd - blue tits fledged - 4 chicks have flown the nest :-)
24th - Nikki's Godmother and aunt,
passed away aged 94.
May 2012: Matthew spent a week in Los Angeles, and a week in San Francisco, then went to Toronto on the 28th.
John had work in Istanbul and Oslo.
New front lawn at Simons Walk
pic 1 pic 2 pic 3 pic 4
April 2012: Ken's party at Great Fosters to celebrate his 90th Birthday
has moved into the Eastleigh house
March 2012: Holiday to South Africa, 5 days safari in the Kruger national park, 2 days at Victoria Falls and 5 days in Mauritius
and then there was the African Grey parrot that meows....
New housemate, Emma, now getting married, so another new housemate needed for April !
Matthew has officially got his Duke of Edinburgh Gold award - presentation of the certificate will probably be later in the year at St James Palace.
This is the
he will recieve.
February 2012: John in Germany working for Vodafone for 2 weeks, missing Nikki's brithday :-(
Matthew working in a vineyard
New housemate in Eastliegh,
and her Macaw called 'Cloe'
Mings dinner with the BBC crowd.
New birdboxes fitted, visited within 24 hours! - see
January 2012: Matthew still in New Zealand, had lots of fun over the xmas period, now looking for a job.
After nearly 2 years, Henrik (the Eastliegh housemate) leaves to return to Denmark.
December 2011: BBC crowd for dinner
Xmas newsletter out, see "Photos" and "Xmas News Letters"
Great trip between Xmas and New Year, visitied lots of friends (in the West) and celebrated NYE with Phil and Sian.
November 2011: 29th Matthew heading off for his gap year travels. Pictures here 27th 16 of family for dinner, and all without a dining room table. Kitchen table and trestle tables came to the rescue. New dining room table under construction...
25th Completed on Willow Walk, so mortgage reduced by 90% - big relief. On the same day, we went to the O2 to watch the ATP tennis - a great day out.
October 2011: 4th Moving into Simons Walk, and exchanged contracts on sale of Willow Walk. Hopefully will complete before Xmas.
7th Build of workshop (shed 2) on side of Simons Walk
12th John into Princess Maragret hospital for an arthroscopy to fix torn cartilage in his left knee,
and 19th, John returns to the same hospital for an arthoscopy to fix torn cartilage in the right knee ! - what a month....
September 2011: 5th - last stage of Simons Walk build, just the paving slabs on the patio outside and carpets inside to do.
16th Charlotte Ramsey and Mark Hannah Wedding
18th Lunch with Pat, Sue & Mik and Liz & Richard - fantastic weekend :-)
19th and 26th John spending two weeks in Turkey (work).
28th Patio finished, painting, carpets, and wood floor done.
August 2011: 25th Building finished at Simons Walk, about 8 weeks in total. Now all I have to do is decorate...
Plans for Matthews gap year going ahead, leaving end of November for new Zealand and returning early July 2012!
18th A-Level results in, not quite enough to get into Loughborough, but did get a place at Salford to read
Aircraft Engineering with pilot studies 15th Matthew and Jess Carpani did a tandem skydive from 12000 feet !
4th Matthew off to the Red Sea for a diving course. There is a
diary (blog) here. We think in the underwater photos, Matthew is the one with the turtle in the white t-shirt and shorts (Matt, not the turtle) !
The boat is the King Snefro 5.
July 2011: 31st Party at John Katie Singers' place on their 25th Wedding anniversary.
23rd - Just one month on, and tiles going on the new roof and internal walls coming out at Simons Walk, pictures on the photo page.
Graduation day on the 1st, followed by the leavers (and parents) ball. Matthew has formally finished his schooldays !
Janet and Ian
, we're both celebrating 20 years :-)
Matthew secretly organised a horse drawn carriage ride in the park, followed by lunch at the Rose and Crown.
New speaker stands, a mere 30 years after I built the speakers.....
June 2011: 19th - Building work started at Simons Walk.
Final push for Matthew and the A-levels, all over on the 27th.
Matthew passed his driving test on the 28th.
No luck with selling Willow Walk, so trying a change of agent. New brochure available
May 2011: The tenants have left Simons Walk, now to decide when to move in.
13th - log cabin building day at Simons Walk :-)
Matthews last speech day at Wellington, including the King Constantine medal.
18th - start of Matthews A-level exams, they end on June 27th, results in mid August
20th - blue tit chicks flown the nest, we think 6 or so survived.
April 2011: Matthews driving test on the 4th, cancelled from last Christmas due to the snow - didn't go well, rescheduled to end of June :-(
Birthday Lunch at home on the 24th, followed by an easter egg hunt in the garden :-)
Last ever school holidays - A-levels in the summer, last term at Welly starts on Matthews 18th birthday (26th) :-)
March 2011: Uni offers (in order of preference) - Loughborough ABB, Exeter ABB, Durham AAB and Southampton AAA.
Tenants announced they are leaving Simons Walk - so now the question is when to move.. Have also applied for planning permission to make a few little changes to Simons Walk before we move in, these are the
John fully recovered from the op and back running and playing badminton.
Matthew and John off to see England v Scotland at Twickenham - what a treat !
Nikki arranged a surprise birthday bash at Great Fosters for John...
Febuary 2011: John's operation done, so far so good, up and about after a week and back to work mid Feb - final checkup early March.
Family trip to London to see Warhorse - really brilliant, and followed by a lovely dinner with David and Sue (Garner).
January 2011: Major decision, we have put
on the market and are going to move into Simons Walk (see the photo album for photos of Simons Walk).
Major incision :-) John is going for a hernia repair at the end of January, when he gets back from Kazakhstan.
Matthew is in the middle of A-level exams, and in the Cadet Force has reached the final 12 of the
John Thomson Memorial Sword
December 10: 11th - evening at Mings with the BBC crowd. Lovely evening, and we were the last out of the restaurant
20th - Matthew's practical driving test. Unfortunately, this was cancelled due to the weather, and the next date is around April 4th !
Three weeks off work, and a dozen for Christmas lunch, Dickensons, Dyers and Carpanis... (pickies in the photo section)
November 10: Had a great evening at Tony n Jules place with Andy and Gillian (over from the US) and Pete and Debbie
Remembrance Day at Wellington, Matthew was in the colour party.
photo1 photo2 photo3 - John had a week in Kazakhstan (for work), interesting, but very foggy!
September 10: 6th - Matthew back to school for his final year at Wellington, can't believe just how fast it has gone.
12th - open day with BA Engineering at Heathrow airport, lots to see and do, and even included a
down a hanger wall for both John and Matthew !
13th - Matthew promoted to Flight Sergeant Matthew Dickenson, Head of RAF section, Wellington College CCF.
30th - Nikki and John, trip to Rome for the weekend. Had a wonderful weekend, it is an amazing place.
- John, work trips to both Nuremberg and Sofia
August 10: 3rd - Matthew departed for Guatemala,
bit of a party the night before, involving two bottles of Pimms. However, got away OK,
despite one team member losing all his luggage, and all arrived safely in Guatemala (after an over-night in Houston).
This is the
expedition report .
14th - Nikki and I had a loveley weekend. Lunch with Pat, Sue and Mick in Gillingham on the Friday,
then dinner with Simon and Jane, and Rosie and Sam, in Bridgwater, and then lunch and dinner on Saturday with
Tony and Jules, John and Katie, and Peter and Debbie
at Tony and Jules' place near Wincanton.
19th - AS Level results
July 10: Trip up north, via Whitby, Hartlepool, Newcastle and the Lakes. Great time, Matthew went on to Dundee for his
RAF flying course,
and Nikki and I climbed Cats Bells, near Keswick. Unfortunately the weather meant we cut the
holiday short by a day !
23rd July - Matthew passed his RAF flying course with "flying colours"
, and took his first solo powered flight around the
skies of Dundee. Both plane (and Mother!) are fine....
29th - Matthew passed his driving theory, 47/50 questions and 63/70 hazard awareness. Practical test booked for the 19th October.
June 10: Driving lessons continuing, Matthews AS exams finished.
20th - outdoor go-karting at Sanddown, Esher. This time, Matthew came 8th in the final, John spun out and came 14th !
John got the fastest lap, but Matthew had better average lap times - the debate goes on . . .
Off to visit Loughborough University on the 24th, then preparing for Matthew's trips to Dundee and Guatemala next month.
May 10: Following Matthew's 17th birthday, he is having driving lessons and has started driving the
"Chevvy" on the public road.
2nd May - rematch of last year's go-karting at the indoor track, Camberley. This time, Matthew came 1st out of the 43 adults.
He was the youngest there, and it was also the same day as his first driving lesson. John, having come 3rd last time, was
8th overall this time.
John spent two weeks in Sofia, Bulgaria (work, not pleasure!).
Eight Blue Tit chicks survived and flew the nest.
April 10: Nest building has started in box 2 - click on the "Bird Box cameras" button below.
Matthew passed his RYA dinghy course at Datchet and is now an RYA qualified instructor.
22nd April - first blue tit egg appeared in box 2, then more day by day.
Sold the Mercedes
and bought a Chevrolet Matiz
(with an 800cc engine). Had to get something that we could insure for Matthew when he starts driving in April (and can't run four cars!).
Matthew spending lots of time training for his Gold Duke of Edinburgh award.
Went up to London to see Les Miserables - John's birthday treat - what a show!
Nikkis birthday - lunch at home on Valentines Day
Happy New Year :-)
Matthew and John went to Hemel Hempstead to the indoor ski slope - real snow, but indoors, most excellent :-)
Matthew back to school on the 10th, then the first A-Level exams a week later...
Snow hits Willow Walk, and the locals build a rabbit and a shelter :-)
Xmas - Lots for lunches in both Englefield Green and Codford,
and Ted, Eileen and Sarah-Jayne stayed at E'Green for the holiday period.
In Eastleigh, the bathroom has been stripped back to bare brick - the New Year's project is to fit the new bath etc...
5th - Nikki back home from her knee arthroscopy. So far pain free, all done through tiny holes only requiring
steri strips, no stitches. Lots of exercises and physiotherapy as expected, and even been given
the dvd of the op (of the inside of the knee) !
20th - Twelve for dinner at the RTS Annual Dinner Dance
to celebrate the anniversary of our first date !
Got to bed at 3:30 am - dear oh dear
Matthew managed to get a front tooth knocked out, but he picked it up and put it straight back in, and so far it appears
to be re-seating itself. It will have to be drilled next month to remove the nerve that was left inside, just to prevent
Matthew is off to
on the 18th, so is taking loads of pain killers and anti-biotics just in case. This is a school trip to visit schools over there,
and help with reopening one of them.
28th - he is back ! from Nepal...
Nikki and I went to see Fletch and Ceila
and stayed in their villa at Villecroze,
about an hour west of Nice.
Matthew is back at school, and studying for his A-Levels. Maths, Physics, Spanish and Economics, and possibly Further Maths at A-S level.
21st Sept, new garage doors fitted, house finished, and it's only taken nine years!
25th Sept, Matthew home for the weekend after getting his front tooth knocked out! Tooth replaced, and hoping that it won't suffer any permanent damage.
BarBeQue, 1st August, a bit soggy, but fun -
Matthew working at Datchet sailing club, and earning money :-)
8th August, Matthew going to RAF for a week of
, ending with a solo flight
20th August - the French side of the family visited for a few days, a BBQ and floodlight table tennis -
24th August - Matthew went to the west coast of Ireland for a week of "island hopping"
Family trees updated, see
Also, new downstairs WC and office completed,
GCSEs - Matthew achieved 3 A*s (Maths and Sciences), an A (Spanish), 4Bs (English Lan., Design, Geography and French)
and a D in English Lit. However, the English Lits are all being sent back for remarking as the whole year was low.
Two very proud and happy parents :-)
Fantastic holiday, a safari in Tanzania -
Final (hopefully) building work finished, just outside to be painted and new garage doors needed
A pair of Great Tits nested and three chicks fledged. - see
Matthew finished his GCSEs - results at end of August.
Building work started on new WC and bigger home office - click on
Guy (from the French/Flemish part of the family) sent over the de Groulard
which goes back to 1722.
Nikki s birthday at Willow Walk with Pawluks and Robinsons.
Having lost about two and a half stone, Nikki has started her training to become a
Cambridge Diet Counsellor.
Sad news -
Peter (Lawrence), John's Uncle, Yvonne's brother, passed away on December 8th. Pat, Sue and Liz were with him.
Dec 8th was also Yvonne's birthday.
A few friends came round for sunday lunch.
Matthew home for half term, and for a week of it he was in Spain.
Nikki (and Sue) spent a week in
Ted and Eileen came down and stayed. Nine for
Matthew back to school for a the 2nd year of his GCSE courses.
John spending a weekend in Devon on a "business trip" (might involve a fishing rod...) - pictures in the album.
Master bedroom at home getting a makeover, new cupboards and carpets.
Nikki getting ready for a trip to Dubai to see Tordy and Sarah next month.
Matthew back to school for a week for a leadership course, then just enough time to squeeze
in a couple of weeks sailing at the Datchet sailing club before term starts.
Had a great day (if slightly damp!) at Longleat, following lunch at Tony and Jules and staying with Sue (Nash).
Back to Sues place at the end of the month for a BBQ to celebrate
Davids 30th birthday.
Matthew off to the Greek islands for two weeks on a 50' catamaran with the school sailing club.
Nikki and John having a weekend in the Cotswolds at the Lamb Inn.
May 30th 08:
Nikki's father Nat passed away peacefully this morning. He was 94.
Nikki s position at Bupa has been made redundant. She is now considering her options, but
enjoying the chance to relax and take stock.
While Matthew learnt to ride a Unicycle, I redecorated his old room, changing it from dark blue to a light ivory colour.
Hall and Landing next..........
As a birthday surprise for me, Nikki emptied the air miles account and we went to Venice for the weekend.
We had a wonderful time, meanwhile Matthew was in Norway on a survival course. Venice pictures in the photo album.
Matthews pictures are on his website.
Francis passed away on 31st Jan after a brief illness. Funeral was at 11:30, Feb 13th at St Jude's.
Photos of the tribute afterwards at Great Fosters are in the photo section (click on "Dads Tribute").