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Happy Christmas to everyone!  We hope you have had a good and peaceful year
and that 2013 will be too!

This year started with all the anxieties surrounding the adoption process for Jon & Bex, but by March Katie was already part of the family.  She will be two on Christmas Day and has settled very well. Her Adoption Day when family and friends attended Court in Oxford and celebrated at the Head of the River afterwards (for coffee!) was a joyous occasion.

The big 70 loomed for us both, so we decided to celebrate in style with a trip to the Wild West of the USA.  We started at Denver Colorado, with five train journeys included, the spectacular Durango Silverton railroad was the best.  We travelled through Monument Valley and by train to the Grand Canyon.  The "wow" factor was the flight by light plane over the Canyon, it was so awe inspiring and beautiful it made you cry!


Philip's birthday treat from Ju & Steve was a ride on the steam trains of the Gloucester & Warwickshire Railway from Winchcombe to Cheltenham Race Course for a picnic and back.  Don't know who enjoyed it more, Philip or Rosie!

Charlie had good GCSE results and is now at Henley College and Harry is at Chiltern Edge School which he is enjoying.

Life continues to be very busy in the village.  Having helped to raise 25K in 3 years to restore the church roof (total with grants 400K), the building work is now under way with the church cocooned in scaffolding and Philip is busy signing contracts, paying the bills and claiming back the VAT, etc.  We also have a fight on our hands with the local council who want to build 700 houses as an extension of our nearest town, Carterton, almost up to the village on a green field site.  From "Stop the Drips at St Brits" to "Why Pillage Brize Village?", life is not dull.

We are still doing volunteer reading in school, opening the garden in June for the NGS and enjoying looking after Rosie two days a week.  She is enjoying riding her pony and has started ballet classes, dressed all in pink she seems to spend most of the lesson "popping"!!


We hope you had a good year full of happiness and that 2013 will bring health and happiness too.



Phil Holmes  Updated on Friday 6 December 2010