thanks to Alison Griffiths, MA for the fantastic
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.
came down for a holiday from Edinburgh and we did
two great days on her PhD together ... as well as
other stuff of course.
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.
get the Christmas cards done!
December 03 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
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
So, all in
all a good month of family activity and relaxation, ready
for the rigours of Christmas to come!
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
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!!!
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.
when all our ex-colleagues are gearing up to start the
new university term, we're not and are planning our next
blog is in Adventures - I really need to update it.
"Live at the Acropolis" - the steam cabin also