Photograph by Alistair Pryde of Words & Pictures,
not for whom the hound roos; she roos for thee.
"Send not to know for whom the bell tolls,
it tolls for thee." John Donne, 1624)
The Christmas Tree on the grass
near Brodick main street.
It was cold!
Remembrance Day Wreath-laying at
the Act of Remembrance,
Churches Together service (The Parish of St Mary,
The first half of December for us wasnt
very exciting really. We had our usual round of
sittings and so on for Court; and some meeting
many of which began happening in person.
It was very nice to begin to reengage with real
people (rather than screen versions) again and it
made us realise that human contact really is
As the month moved on, things started happening.
Lois got elected as Deputy Bench Chairman (sic)
for County Durham and Darlington Justices
Bench very much an honour. She also got
elected as Chair designate of Trustees for the
Hospital of God at Greetham which is her charity.
The two are not connected. 2022 is going to be
busy for her, we think! Ian got selected to join
the Bench JTAAAC (look it up!) and had a tooth
out; the two are also not connected. We went to
Doncaster to visit family and heard a rather
excellent pun about those who refuse vaccinations
Vaccine refusal goes up with the
density of the population. Think about it!
The visit was really nice and, again, it was
great to talk to real people in person
mostly. Ian spent most of
his time outside the pub we met in, while the
others lunched, because they didnt take
dogs, but that was OK.
We attended a lovely carol service at Gainford
(the place where Ian laid a Remembrance Wreath
last month), again on the village green.
Its been a while since weve been able
to attend one, and it was absolutely delightful.
Being outside meant that we were all Covid-safe
and could sing our hearts out; which we did. Tara
wasnt sure what was going on and was
certainly very unsure about the church bells
ringing out she hasnt heard the like
before! But once she opened herself up to the
vibe and energy of the event she had
a great time. We have been invited to a Blessing
of the Animals in the Summer, so Tara must have
impressed them with her behaviour.
Ian from ISWORX came round to do the flooring for
our new enclosed porch just the step to be
built and then thats finished. Ian also
made and fitted our memories board
for the porch, of which more later when it starts
Towards the end of the month we set off for Arran
for Christmas. See the travel blog about that
when we write it. It was a really terrific
stay and a much needed rest from our hard
retirement work (seriously!) We have at last
sussed out the ferry and how to get Tara on and
off without trauma. Shes fine getting on
and up the stairs to the pet lounge
she is NOT ok getting back down the very
steep, narrow, busy and slippery stairs back to
the car deck. So this time Lo walked her off and
Ian drove off, meeting up (as it happens) in
Ardrossan Asda which is only a short walk away.
Tara genuinely loved this approach and it made
the experience MUCH better for her.
As I write this, we await the midnight fireworks
but have a plan to help Tara cope with those.
So, 2021 ... for Hannah, a shockingly poor
performance by Edinburgh Napier staff, fantastic
support from Sunderland staff for her PhD and
PGCE, a successful course, a new permanent job
and moving into a new flat. For Ian & Lois,
four separate holidays to the extremes of the
country, back to work part-time for Lo
(temporarily), four significant official
appointments and a new successful business. Not
New Year to everyone and heres to 2022!!
December 31 2021
ARCHIVE of older monthly
updates (from July 2019 to last month) is
available here. This downloads as a PDF - if your
browser doesn't open it, check