Christmas Newsletter for 2014

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 2014 Newsletter.
Click to download a pdf version of our Christmas 2014 Newsletter (129 kb)

Earlier years: 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013


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

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

Colin and Elizabeth

South Africa
In February, Colin and Elizabeth went on a guided tour of South Africa. They visited all the usual places including Johannesburg, Cape Town and Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was in prison). They also spent some time at a safari park hotel which is famous for the hippos which graze on its lawn each evening. Sadly the hippos never appeared during their stay. However, they saw lots of other wildlife including close-up encounters with elephants and a leopard (see phots at right).

When Colin and Elizabeth got home, the Carpenter grandchildren were really excited by the tales of wild animals, so a trip to Whipsnade Zoo (near London) was quickly organised. All the animals not seen in South Africa (including hippos) were quickly ticked off the bucket list.

France
Colin and Elizabeth spent the usual two August weeks in France, this year near Roanne. Joanna, James and the family joined them. David and Carole (Hicks) popped in while driving back from the south of France. The house was next door to a canal and lock so there was extra fun watching the lock keeper at work. One day we helped a boat recover from getting a rope wrapped round its propeller - fortunately without having to go into the water ourselves.

In April, Colin and Elizabeth spent a few days in Paris with Miriam, showing her round their second favourite city. Other holidays for the year for Colin and Elizabeth were a few days in Vienna (June) and Bari (November), both linked to events run by Eurisy which Colin still chairs. Colin also went to Paris (several times), Belfast and Berlin on Eurisy business.

Other Trips
In April, Colin and Elizabeth spent a few days in Paris with Miriam, showing her round their second favourite city. Other holidays for the year for Colin and Elizabeth were a few days in Vienna (June) and Bari (November), both linked to events run by Eurisy which Colin still chairs. Colin also went to Paris (several times), Belfast and Berlin on Eurisy business.

Life at Home
Colin and Elizabeth continue to be heavily involved at Teddington Baptist Church. Colin was "timed out" this spring from the church's Leadership Team but still manages the premises. Colin had a busy October and November. In addition to organising the church's annual holiday club during half-term, he also coordinated the church's Alternative (to Halloween) and an Open Day in November to celebrate 10 years since the premises were redeveloped.

Elizabeth helps at church with Busy Bees (for toddlers and carers) on Tuesday mornings and leads a home group. She is now making cuddle quilts (see photo at right) for Project Linus UK which provides them to needy children.

Click the photos in this panel to see larger versions in a resizable window

Colin and Elizabeth in South Africa with a friendly elephant (Feb 2014)
Colin and Elizabeth in South Africa
with a friendly elephant (Feb 2014)

A close encounter with a leopard (Feb 2014)
A close encounter with a leopard (Feb 2014)

Colin and Elizabeth on Table MNountain, Cape Town (Feb 2014)
Colin and Elizabeth on
Table Mountain, Cape Town
(Feb 2014)

One of Elizabeth's Linus quilts
One of Elizabeth's Linus quilts
Our family (August 2014)
Our family (August 2014)


Rachel, Richard and Jasper

Jasper (17 this year) went to Bolivia with a party of young people from his church during August. He is now studying drama at the BRIT School which is a Performing Arts and Technology School. He did well to get in as courses there are heavily over-subscribed. The BRIT School is in Croydon so he is staying with Joanna and James during the week and only going home for holidays and weekends. The loft extension completed by Joanna and James last autumn made this arrangement possible.

Rachel is now in her second year at her Clapham school. Richard is in the same post as last year.



James, Joanna, Miriam, JJ and Caleb

Miriam spent three weeks with Joanna in Germany during October, attending an ordinary German school with her friends there. Caleb is still learning the violin along with JJ who also plays the trumpet. JJ has achieved the standard for a music scholarship at his preferred secondary school, and waits to see whether he is awarded a place.

Joanna is still doing her freelance science writing and editing while James continues his research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.



Other Family News
Auntie Helen
Auntie Helen

Uncle Will
Uncle Will

In May, we had a big Hicks family reunion at the instigation of Colin's Auntie Helen. She died in January this year and left money in her will for a get together of the whole family. Colin produced updated family trees to mark the event.

Colin's mother was 90 during September this year. She is still living by herself. Colin's sister, Elizabeth, and her husband Martin, hosted her birthday party.

In October, Elizabeth's Uncle Will (Payne) died in Trinidad aged 97. A newspaper obituary described him as a remarkable all round athlete - table tennis champion of Trinidad for 7 consecutive years (retiring undefeated), a weight lifting champion, a first class cricket player, and an international footballer for Trinidad at the age of 18. When he retired he was head of Trinidad's Customs & Excise.


e-mail and website addresses

e-mail to Colin: cphicks@btinternet.com
e-mail to Elizabeth: ejhicks@btinternet.com

Colinís web site: http://www.cphicks.org.uk/

e-mail to Richard and Rachel: revans31@hotmail.com

e-mail to James: James.carpenter@lshtm.ac.uk
Joanna's web site: http://www.joannacarpenter.co.uk
e-mail to Joanna at home: Joanna.carpenter@cantab.net