Christmas Newsletter for 2010

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 2010 Newsletter.
Click to download a pdf version of our Christmas 2010 Newsletter (262 kb)

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

Our Family in October 2010

family in 2010

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

Colin and Elizabeth
International Trips

Colin and Elizabeth had a year of seeing many sights of scenic grandeur. Christmas was spent in Australia, visiting friends and relations some of whom had not been seen for many years. Their hospitality was very generous as well as that of strangers who shared their Christmas lunch with us beside a back-country reservoir. We enjoyed the man-made sights of Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney as well as the natural ones of the Great Ocean Road, the Blue Mountains and Ayers Rock.

We even managed a rendezvous with our Aussie friend Peter, now living in Japan, but who happened to be travelling along the same road as us on Boxing Day albeit in the opposite direction. We met up with him later and got to visit his parents. He then gave us a conducted tour of his favourite north of Sydney haunts.

Western USA
After Easter we ventured across ocean again to take a coach tour of the western states of the USA hoping for warm weather. Several places were remarkably cold and snowy and our route was altered because one pass over the Rockies was still closed. But we finally got to the Grand Canyon (see photo below), Monument Valley and other remarkable canyons, dams and waterfalls.

Our tour included a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Las Vegas (by which we mean we won't bother to go back there again!). The hotels are certainly amazing - we stayed in Circus Circus which sometimes has trapeze artists performing overhead. To our tour guide's surprise we spent a free morning visiting the Atomic Testing Museum rather than the shops and casinos.

The tour finished in San Francisco where we were trapped by the Icelandic volcano's eruption. This was initially worrying but we were immediately put in a waterfront hotel at Virgin Holidays' expense. So we were able to settle down and enjoy the extra five days free holiday!

France and Morocco
We had our usual relaxing August family holiday in France (with Joanna, James and family). This October we spent two weeks in Morocco visiting Marrakech, Fez, Rabat and Casablanca. Here the buildings topped the scenery as the most enjoyed attractions although the delicious local food was also very appealing.

Other Trips
Colin and Elizabeth went to Ljubljana (Slovenia) for a Eurisy conference - the first time we had been there since 1966 when (as students) we stayed at the youth hostel for one night while hitchhiking from Milan to Athens. This time around we flew in and out, took taxis from the airport and stayed in an upmarket hotel. Other Eurisy trips in the year by Colin included quick hops to and from Paris, Brussels, Rome and Vienna.

Colin and Elizabeth at Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House (Jan 2010)

Colin and Elizabeth at Ayers Rock
Ayers Rock (Jan 2010)

Colin and Elizabeth at Ayers Rock
Ayers Rock (Jan 2010)

Colin and Elziabeth at the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon (April 2010)

Colin and Elizabeth in San Francisco
San Francisco (April 2010)

Colin and Elizabeth in Morocco
Morocco (Oct 2010)

Colin and Elizabeth
Other News
Elizabeth's brother, Andrew, who has Down's Syndrome, has been unwell for much of this year. Heather came back from India to help him move from the home he has lived in for over 30 years to a home near Northampton which can give him more personal care when it is needed.

Colin and Elizabeth continue to be active in a number of roles at Teddington Baptist Church. While we are without a Families Worker, Elizabeth is helping to run the Church's carers and toddlers groups. Colin is still organising the annual August Holiday Club. This year the holiday club drama was directed by Rachel with Jasper playing a leading role in it. Elizabeth and Joanna also helped run holiday club groups while Miriam, JJ and Caleb attended.

Rachel, Richard and Jasper

Richard, Rachel and Jasper spent part of the summer working on their French house near Angouleme - replacing earth floors with concrete and getting the electrical wiring sorted out.

Jasper enjoys his secondary school and won a prize for intensive use of the school library throughout the year. He is now taller than his mother (see photo above) with broad shoulders. They live so close to us that we see them most weekends as well as sometimes during the week. Colin still picks Jasper up from school most Thursdays but has not yet seen him playing rugby.

Rachel and Elizabeth
Rachel and Elizabeth

James, Joanna, Miriam, JJ and Caleb
Caleb in July 2010
Caleb in July 2010

Joanna has started part-time work back at the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) while continuing freelance writing and editing. James is in demand to speak at international conferences and workshops about his research on medical statistics.

Miriam took a GCSE in German this year and distinguished herself by getting an A grade. She is also doing well with playing her recorder and flute. JJ is doing well at school and following Miriam and Jasper's example by becoming a fluent and keen reader. He has also started to learn the violin. Caleb is a little curly locked scamp who burbles away all the time (just like his mother did at the same age) without much of what he says being very clear. He starts pre-school in the new year.

You can see more grandchildren photos on the grandparent pages.

e-mail and website addresses

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

Colinís web site:

e-mail to Richard and Rachel:

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