Thoughts at Random 2007

Updated Sunday, 23 December 2007

This is a web version of the Newsletter sent out with our Christmas cards. 


2007 has been a year when several of my contemporaries have celebrated their 60th birthdays. I celebrated mine at “The Blackbird Inn”, Bagnor. Mine hosts Howard and Lizzie, and their staff served 24 two-course meals for us. Sorry we couldn’t fit all recipients of this letter in, but in addition to the immediate family there were some “representatives” from my wide circle of friends and acquaintances. I was particularly pleased that Sue Waldie (pictured right with Bernadette and me after tasting champagne on a Costa Brava holiday) was able to be there. She was also born on the 22nd October, but not the same year.

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This year has been a year of singing. Charmian and I continued to be members of St Nicolas Church Choir and of the Cromwell Singers. We are also members of the Caravan Club Singers. This is a group of some 70 caravanners who come from all parts of the UK. We tend to rally in the Midlands to minimise distances that people need to travel. The Singers are directed by Alison and Brian Ley who live near Gloucester. The Singers gave their inaugural concert at the Caravan Club Centenary Rally held at Blenheim Palace over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. You may remember it rained! We sang in a large marquee not dissimilar to a circus tent.

Blenheim was followed by a week singing in the chorus of Godspell performed at St Nicolas by an ad hoc community choir under the direction of Mandy Maskell and Sarah & Nic Cope. It is wonderful how drama and music bring folk from all walks and conditions of life, including those with mobility problems and learning difficulties.

A contingence of the Singers when to FICC International Caravan Rally at Millstreet in Southern Ireland. Again it rained for much of the time, including during the opening ceremony when ralliers, mainly in national costumes, paraded round the town and then back to the stadium. Wednesday was International Night on which there was a ten minute slot for the various nationalities to demonstrate their talents. Our spot started with “Mud, mud glorious mud!” in recognition of the state of the rally field after our frequent daily doses of rain. This was followed by an improvisation of “Don’t worry, be happy” interspersed with topical references including the floods back in England.

Our Tricolour, Charlie was diagnosed as having cancer in November and has started a course of Chemotherapy. He could be with us for another 9 months. Meanwhile we have introduced Jacko, a three year old Black & Tan. Compared to both Charlie and Cara, he is so energetic and quite a challenge. Those of you who remember Buckingham (top left) will know what an escape artist he was~ Jacko is a chip off the old block, so to speak!

Concluding with two final mentions of singing, it was with great joy that Charmian and I were able to track down Trevor Selby, former or­ganist and choirmaster of St Nicolas and now organist and master of the choristers at Limerick cathedral (http:// This December we sang as members of The Cromwell Singers under the baton of David Wilcox for the last time and wish him and wife Lynne every happiness where ever their travels take them.

WE wish You a
Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year




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