Colin and Elizabeth
Colin and Elizabeth's
main holiday destination for the year was Florida where they spent two enjoyable (and sunny) weeks in January. The real highlight was seeing manatees in a river tributary fed by warm springs. But they also enjoyed visits to South Beach (Miami), Key West, Busch Gardens, Seaworld, Universal Studios, and the Tiffany Museum in Winter Park. The last of these, recommended by Stephanie Hicks, was a late addition to the itinerary. But it was a fascinating place playing perfectly to Elizabeth's interest in Art Nouveau which she has developed while travelling around Europe with Colin.
In June Colin and Elizabeth had a relaxed guided coach tour week in Sicily - only based at two hotels. They were amazed at the Greek and Roman ruins (some built into later churches) and, of course, the ascent of Mount Etna which steamed gently but did not erupt while they walked around the rim of one of its craters.
Colin and Elizabeth spent the usual two weeks with the family in France, this year deliberately timed to leave the Olympics at home but accessible by satellite on the 24 BBC channels. They even saw the men's cycle road race on tv as it circled their marooned house! Colin says he was able to watch more sport on tv this way than if he had been at home.
On the way to the French holiday home, Colin and Elizabeth took Miriam and JJ with them to visit Puy du Fou which is a (very) French theme park with shows rather than rides - for example, a gladiator show in a full scale reproduction of a Roman arena. No-one was eaten by any of the lions and tigers but apart from that this show was spectacularly realistic and the children insisted on attending it twice! The night show with illuminated people gliding round on the surface of a lake was incredible (see photo at right). Colin and Elizabeth thought it could not be bettered until it was surpassed two nights later by the Olympic opening ceremony which they saw courtesy of French tv with a French commentary in a French hotel.
Also on the way south, Colin and Elizabeth visited Richard and Rachel's village house and, with Rachel, made their first visit to Richard and Rachel's town house in Angouleme which is let to several tenants.
Colin was re-appointed in June for another three year term chairing Paris based Eurisy. During the year he went on Eurisy business to Paris (several times), Farnborough, Graz, Lille and Brussels. Elizabeth accompanied Colin to Farnborough (July), Graz (Sept) and Lille (Oct).
Life at Home
Colin and Elizabeth helped with the Baptist Assembly in London in early May and continue to be involved at Teddington Baptist Church. Colin has also been very busy this year as one of the Baptist Union Trustees: major changes to the Baptist Union's organisation were discussed and decided during 2012.
The whole family's gifts for music, singing and drama will be used on Christmas Day this year when the Carpenter-Evans-Hicks ensemble will be entertaining the old folk at Elleray Hall in Teddington.