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Huge thanks to Alison Griffiths, MA for the fantastic cake!

It's been quiet. We haven't done very much - no long trips away for the two of us, for example. However, we have done a couple of things around here that were good. We went to see the Sue Ferris Quintet at the Gala - one of their Jazz lunchtimes. Now, we didn't even know that they had Jazz Lunchtimes, but a lot of other people did - it was packed! Sue taught Hannah the saxophone a long time ago when she (that's Hannah) was at school, so we already knew her to be an accomplished musician; and we were not disappointed with her quintet, either. It was a good gig. Monthly lunchtimes at the Gala and similar frequency at the Newcastle Lit and Phil, too. We had been looking for some decent jazz gigs for a long time and all of a sudden, we've found two regular ones. Lois sent a good day in Runcorn making new connections with family members unearthed through Ancestry. The trip with Transpennine Express was poor since they simply terminated her service early, denying her onward connections and delaying her for a full hour. Typical, we thought, of a company that puts its own considerations above those of its customers - but sadly all too common. The compensation claim is in! Together we attended the EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) event at Newcastle. This organisation brings together university students with researchers and entrepreneurs to innovate (and the UK's involvement will be another victim of Brexit). The theme of this day was to invent something to assist older people in the kitchen. It was great to be involved, working with the student teams to test and challenge their ideas and let them hone their thoughts into something new, exciting and useful. Why were we there? Well, we counted as "older people" for whom the innovation could be useful.

Hannah came down for a holiday from Edinburgh and we did two great days on her PhD together ... as well as other stuff of course.

Ian attended the University graduation ceremonies, too - it was good to go back and see how the place is doing under the refreshed leadership of its new V-C - rather well, actually! Fabulous opening speech by him - best I've heard of the five V-Cs (including acting) I've experienced since UoS became a university. As well as some old faces, it was nice to see Alison Griffiths (she of retirement cake fame) cross the stage to receive her Master's - congratulations to her.

Better get the Christmas cards done!

Today is: 2018
Site last updated: Monday, December 03 2018

November 2018
Another busy month, although not very much of it was at home!. We visited Hannah in Edinburgh, ostensibly to hand over the Christmas tree and decorations, but actually to go for lunch. It was a nice stay, albeit brief. Later in the month, all three of us spent a lovely day in Glasgow. Ian was going there anyway to attend a meeting for the University, but we turned it into a family outing! It's a nice city that's always worth a visit. Lois and Hannah appeared to have spent all their time in Clark's Shoes ... but maybe that's just perception.

Then we had a lovely holiday away from it all in the highlands - two weeks away this time, with some of it all three of us. We spent a bit of time pondering on the notion of the use of the word "holiday" when it's from retirement! Can one have a holiday from retirement, or is that going back to work? Whatever, it was a very relaxing time away. We also entertained for Bonfire Night, and even had some fireworks - although the Tesco 18 event Firework Cake was a bit of a surprise since it was over so quickly! Very pretty while it lasted, but my word it was quick!

So, all in all a good month of family activity and relaxation, ready for the rigours of Christmas to come!

October 2018:
We've had a very busy month! We popped up to the NW Highlands for an excellent week. Really enjoyed that and the weather was excellent! Hoping to return again soon!

We attended the Lord Lieutenant's Dinner in Hartlepool which was a really nice event. Interestingly, we met more colleagues and ex-colleagues on that evening than we've seen for ages. It was great to catch up. Terrific venue, too - we were at the new Hartlepool Art Gallery which made a spectacular venue for a formal (black tie) dinner. The meal was super and, given that there were getting on for 100 of us there, the service was fast and efficient. Thoroughly recommended! We went to the NE Circult Legal Service at York Minster, which was a really enjoyable event. We followed that by lunch with an old friend and his new partner - a really lovely occasion. Ian also nipped down to London for a judiciary meeting, which was tiring and a good meeting, but it reminded us why we prefer living in the north east!

On top of all that, we've had the tiling done so apart from a bit of painting, the bathroom and en-suite renovations are done. All we need to do now is persuade Lois to use the new steam cabin!!!

September 2018:
We are REALLY enjoying our retirement! That's the first summer gone that we didn't have to go away ... so we didn't! We stayed at home and started on the refurbishment of the house. We now have a new steam shower cabin ... very nice it is, too - this morning I steamed with Yanni* and then showered off. Fantastically relaxing, especially listening to Darlene Koldenhoven sing "Aria". And we have a lawn that's green. We even had a day at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

And now, when all our ex-colleagues are gearing up to start the new university term, we're not and are planning our next travel.

The travel blog is in Adventures - I really need to update it.

*Yanni's "Live at the Acropolis" - the steam cabin also has bluetooth.