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Happy Christmas to everyone!  We hope you have had a good and peaceful year
and that 2015 will be too!

It has been quite a traumatic year for us.  After diabetes type 2 and a heart attack on Christmas Day 2012, Philip was diagnosed with bowel cancer last Spring.  After an operation in August and 2 doses of killing Chemo, loosing 2 stone in weight, we now have our lives back again with just a reverse ileostomy operation to have, hopefully next Spring.  Everyone has been most kind and helpful especially the family, with both Jon and Ju spending sleepless nights at the JR and Churchill hospitals respectively because of dehydration (twice).


Philip has however been busy researching and writing a book on Brize Norton villagers who fell in the First World War and had a major part in providing a detailed plaque on a plinth in our recreation ground where 18 trees have been planted in remembrance of those who died.


We have also kept busy with volunteer reading at school and days out with Rosie (now 5).  She started school in September and is loving it.  She has been to a couple of horse shows and entered the fancy dress as a western cowgirl in an outfit we brought back from the USA.


Juliet still manages the equine yard and teaches at Abingdon and Witney College and has just acquired a second hand Land Rover Defender, slightly more powerful than the one she had when she was seventeen years old!  Steve has just returned from installing ozone equipment in the largest ship in the world in Korea.


Jon and Bex sold their house on the Shilton Park estate and have bought a thatched nineteen eighties cottage in Bude in Cornwall as their bolt hole many miles away from the flat above the boarding house at Repton Prep school.  Charlie is off to New Zealand for Christmas and then to Nepal to teach English and Harry is studying horticulture at Sparsholt College. Katie will be four at Christmas and is enjoying pre-prep at Repton.


We did return to our favourite Greek island, Crete, in April this year, next year who knows!?


We have been invited to Bude over Christmas, so this we are really looking forward to, although we think we are down to help put up a garden shed, do some gardening and DIY!

We count our blessings and hope that 2015 will not be quite so eventful.


We hope you had a good year full of happiness and that 2015 will bring health and happiness too.



Phil Holmes  Updated on Friday 6 December 2010