are delighted to announce the engagement of our
daughter, Hannah, to Ben Steele.
details to follow as they emerge!
Ben is a teacher and Special
Constable, orignially from Newcastle and now
living and teaching in County Durham.
Hannah and Ben met at Edinburgh Napier University
and have been together for a few years now. They
weathered Covid apart, which says a lot!
We're genuinely delighted and very
excited to have Ben join the family.
Hannah and Ben on the day of their
Edinburgh Princes Street Gardens.
June and July 2022
We had a complicated June, starting with lots of
sittings and Hospital of God stuff leading up to
a (now almost traditional) visit to Beer in Devon
for the Solstice. It was a terrific journey down
its quite a long way and we
got to our cottage in excellent time. This time
wed upgraded a bit and had a really lovely
cottage in Beer through Original Cottages
(www.originalcottages.co.uk). It was beautiful,
very comfy and with beautiful décor and
excellent equipment. Furthermore it had its own
parking spot and those are like hens teeth
in Beer! Last year we had to spend a fortune in a
public car park and carry our luggage and Tara
clobber a very long way! Having our own spot
right next to the cottage was wonderful! This
year we DID get to see the solstice from
Mikes very own stone circle (check out last
years entry in the archive if you
dont know what were talking about).
It was a beautiful evening with a cloudless sky.
Amazing to see the stone circle working
properly. Lois had a Teams meeting on one
of the days, so Ian took Tara on the tram from
Seaton to Colyton her vist trip on a tram,
and actually the first time on any public
transport. After the first five minutes of not
being sure, she found it great. It was a lovely
holiday catching up with Mike and Carol again and
just doing tourist stuff! While we will be going
to Beer again next year, we can leave it later in
the year next time because weve seen the
At a checkup with the vet, Tara was found to be
losing weight and we got some very clear and
unambiguous dietary advice: Take her off
raw meat NOW. We thought that raw food is a
good thing, but apparently not
greyhounds anyway! So she went onto Pedigree
Petfoods dry food and after a couple of weeks is
now back to her proper weight with a
very sleek coat to go with it. Note to selves
dont be taken in by advertising
rhetoric! Youd think wed have learned
The Lord-Lieutenant succumbed to Covid so Ian got
to go to some really interesting official events,
such as the Fire Brigade Long Service Awards
which was great fun.
July started with Sunderlands graduations,
which were back to normal after a couple of years
of zoom events. It was absolutely super to see
students crossing the stage again and the
atmosphere is undiminished. On one of the days,
Prof Peter Smith got his honorary Doctor of
Technology which was richly deserved and great to
be part of.
When Ian was at university, he became good
friends with three people (as well as Lois of
course) and they shared a flat together
Barnes G3 for those who know Keele. Back in 2018
Helen one of the four flatmates set
about trying to get a reunion of the four of us,
plus Lois who was around at the time, plus the
partners of the others. That was before Covid
struck of course. In July we finally got together
for a wonderful evening of alcohol and
reminiscences. It only took four years to get
together! As Helen put it, It took a global
pandemic to keep us apart. The evening was
magical, actually, with super food, plenty of
drink, and very, very good company. We suspect
that those memories will stay with us for a long
We also caught up with some family who design and
manufacture farm machinery in Essex! Well, you do
Then we got to enjoy our house and garden as the
children broke up for their school holidays and
we stayed at home! Lots and lots of little things
to do, but thats always enjoyable stuff.