Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 Our year in pictures

So here we are. It seems like five minutes since we said goodbye to our colleagues at Instanta and took the leap into the unknown that is retirement. But it's just over five years ago that we handed over to our successors and headed down to Manchester to see Madness at the Apollo sing the amazingly appropriate One Step Beyond to open the show. It was snowing then but there's little chance of seeing snow here anytime soon. Here's a look back at what went on in 2015. 

New Year's Day saw us walking around Tarn Hows in Cumbria. We were there to celebrate our dear friend Janet's 60th birthday.

Janet with son Will.

February saw FRAm the Framlingham's Residents' Association protesting against over development of our small market town. We've got about 3,200 residents and developers think it's a good idea to build over 300 new houses increasing the population by about a third. Were not NIMBYs and support sensible development but this is madness.

I found this lovely old rose gold ring in February with the detector. It is now worn by the lady landowner.

We went down to London to se the wonderful Curious Incident Of The Dog In the Night-Time at the Gielgud Theatre.

I had my only really successful eBay find for 2015 in February when I spotted this rare antique German tobacco jar for a few pounds.

I didn't get to see The Cattlemen play too many times in 2015 but saw them promoted after a successful season.

It was Marion's turn to celebrate her 60th in March

We celebrated with friends at the excellent Inn At Whitewell

Then we celebrated again in St Andrews with Sarah, Duncan, Rose and Melody

My mum came up to St Andrews to spend a few days with us in April.

And we had another trip to London.

We saw Beautiful the Carole King Musical. Another fabulous show.

We had a super weekend at the end of April when son Paul and granddaughter Catherine came to stay with us in Suffolk.

I got new invisible (sort of) hearing aids.

May saw us back in St Andrews visiting our Scottish family.

In June we visited Crowes Hall near Debenham for their Opera in the barn. Sadly the weather was unfriendly

But the sun shone in more ways than one when our dear friend Jane came to stay with us for a few days.

After Jane left us it was off to London again. This time we were lucky to be invited by our pension people to a private viewing of the incredible Alexander McQueen exhibition.

One of the amazing exhibits

In July it was back to St Andrews for granddaughter Rose's fourth birthday.

And then to Kent for granddaughter Catherine's third birthday.

We drove straight from Rochester to Llangollen for our friends Dave and Janet's Eisteddfod party.

UB40 with Ali and Astro closed the Eisteddfod with a brilliant set

Then it was back to London to see Neil Diamond at the O2

One of the benefits of living in Suffolk is the abundance of seafood. Lobster became an occasional summer treat.

Our latest grandchild Teddy was born in London

Which gave us the chance to babysit Catherine for a few days.

In August we had four brilliant evenings at the Proms at Snape Maltings

We didn't have a holiday this year but had some great August days around Suffolk.

We had a bit of a scare when neighbour Wilfrid was rushed into hospital but one week and one pacemaker later he was back to his best.
In September we were back in St Andrews for Melody's second birthday.

When we got back we went to Snape again for a lesson from local expert Vivia on the art of foraging at the Aldeburgh Food Festival 

And I went on my first ever metal detecting rally a few miles down the road from home.

I celebrated my birthday in Suffolk at Maison Talbooth

In October I had my first visit to the new Wembley Stadium when I took Paul to see the New York Jets play the Miami Dolphins - great stuff.

I went to The Guardian offices in London to hear publisher Scott Pack talk about how to get your book published.

There was another treat for us in store in October when Catherine paid us a visit for a few days and I appeared in the credits alongside Paul for his company's new quiz show Pick Me

In November we joined four friends for a wet but very enjoyable weekend in Malham

We met some of the the locals 

We thought winter had arrived in Aldeburgh in November. 

But it was far from wintry when we were back in Scotland

And still glorious in Framlingham in December.

In December we were very sad to see friends Caroline and Ron Tosh and their daughter Lily leave Framlingham. We had some memorable times with them in 2015.

I made these books for the farmers who let me search their fields.

We went back to the caravan in St Andrews for Christmas. We had some unwelcome visitors. I tried to catch them with humane traps but had to resort to cruel ones when they kept shutting them without going inside. The death toll was five mice before the activity stopped.

But the mice didn't stop us from having a wonderful Christmas with Melody (top) and Rose.

So that's it for 2015. It's been a busy year but we've enjoyed it and hope that we stay happy and healthy enough to enjoy another year of retirement in 2016.

Happy New Year 

Look out for my second novel in 2016