Christmas Newsletter for 2006

from Colin and Elizabeth Hicks

Each year we send out a Christmas Newsletter to family and friends.
The text below is a slightly edited version of our Christmas 2006 Newsletter.
Click to download a pdf version of our Christmas 2006 Newsletter (315 kb)

"We have seen His star in the East" Matthew 2:2 (KJV)

Colin and Elizabeth Colin and Elizabeth (Sept 2006)

Joshua, Jasper and Miriam in August 2006 Jasper, Joshua and Miriam
(Aug 2006)
Colin and Elizabeth

Colin took up cycling again on retirement on his 60th birthday in May. Since then he has kept himself very busy. He spent most of May working on the computer network at our church and the first half of July helping Richard with renovation work on their house in France. In June he became President of a European organisation called Eurisy which works to ensure that space applications are properly applied to down to earth needs. This makes him the Chairman of a French registered company!

As last year, the whole family rented a house in France for two weeks in August. The party included all our children and grandchildren, plus James' parents (Robert and Gwyneth) Richard's mother (Rose) and Elizabeth's sister (Heather). This time we were in the same village as Richard and Rachel's house. It now has a septic tank so proper plumbing may come soon! As the weather was very changeable and cool during our holiday, lots got done on the house. Rose was queen of the shutter painting and hedges were cut back until a neat front garden emerged.

We all spent a morning on a cycle ride along a disused railway track peddling specially adapted railway trollies. We did not realise how uphill the outward journey was until we found we could sit back and coast home.

By September we had both finally retired. Which really came home to us when Elizabeth did not go back to school at the beginning of the autumn term (the first time for 28 years). So we had to begin to adjust to life together rather than in parallel. Our first big demonstration of this was our Nile cruise in November which was booked on 31 January - the same evening that Colin's successor accepted the offer of the job!

Monday is our day together and we are finally getting our money's worth out of our National Trust membership! Now Elizabeth is not working she will have more chances to travel with Colin both on semi-business trips and on holiday. In October Elizabeth accompanied Colin to Valencia where he was attending a conference as Eurisy President. There may be other opportunities like that next year but we have also booked a holiday in New Zealand for early in 2007.

Click to see Colin and Elizabeth's eChristmas Card to You!

Richard, Rachel and Jasper

Richard and Rachel are still busy in their jobs. Richard sings in a local choir and we were impressed by his solo at their summer concert. Rachel has really established herself as a key member of her team at Esher College and acts as deputy to her head of department.

Jasper has a new bike with 18 gears which he loves riding around the park and towpath. This was an early birthday present given in September before his 9th birthday in November. In late July we spent a day on the Thames in a small cruiser with Jasper and Rachel. He loved reliving the stories of his mother's childhood when we spent many holidays on the Broads. He even managed to have a (supervised) go at the wheel.

The Evans Family in November 2006 The Evans Family (November 2006)

Jasper skiing in February 2006 Jasper skiing (Feb 2006)

Jasper on the Thames Jasper on the Thames (July 2006)

Carpenter Family The Carpenter Family
(August 2006)

Joanna, James, Miriam and Joshua

In September, Joanna and James settled back into Beckenham after their year in Freiburg (Germany). James will be continuing his research collaboration with Freiburg colleagues. Miriam missed a year of English schooling but is now learning to read in English though she speaks fluent German. Unfortunately that is not on the English primary school curriculum.

Joanna is doing an MSc at Imperial College in science communication. You can learn more by reading her weblog on her student year.

Joshua (aka JJ) speaks much more clearly now. He is able to stand up for himself in an argument over what he will or won't eat. So far he refuses to be bilingual - if asked "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" he replies "Nein"

Because of this German connection, Christmas 2005 was spent in a rented house in the Black Forest. It snowed all Christmas morning but stopped in time for us to go out tobogganing just by the house in the afternoon (see photo). On Boxing Day Narnia came to life for us when we heard the jingling of sleigh-bells in the forest. Later in the week we went for a ride of our own. During the week, Jasper, Miriam and their parents went off to learn to ski. Jasper was such a natural that he went back in February with the Carpenter skiing party.

Miriam in August 2006 Miriam (Aug 2006) Joshua in August 2006 Joshua (Aug 2006) Family sleigh ride Elizabeth and JJ (Christmas 2005)

The Church Family

For three months (August-October) Colin stood in for Richard Littledale, the Minister of our church while he was on sabbatical. He is still very active on the London Baptist Association (LBA) Board and has added to that a new appointment to the equivalent national body, the Baptist Union Council.

In March, Elizabeth was re-elected to the leadership team at church and took on responsibility for the buildings. Guttering and plumbing, suddenly had to be discussed with some pretence of knowledge! She was proud of herself when she discovered a fault on the roof before any of the men.

e-mail and website addresses

e-mail to Colin:
e-mail to Elizabeth:

Colinís web sites:

e-mail to Richard and Rachel:

e-mail to James:
e-mail to Joanna at home: