Last Christmas (2015) was spent on board a cruise ship (the Celebrity Millenium) travelling from Hong Kong to Singapore via Vietnam and Thailand. The ship was vast and comfortable. Elizabeth was able to swim most days although one day the waves in the pool were more spectacular than the waves on the sea. The shore trips were very interesting enabling us to talk to our Vietnamese guides personally about life there during and after the war. The holiday allowed us to get sufficient flavour of these countries to whet our appetites for longer visits.
In April Colin & Elizabeth went to Madeira and had a very relaxing holiday even though it meant a lot of walking up and down steep hills. They arrived in time to see a spectacular rally of vintage cars with lots of ladies in amazing fancy dress. However, their return journey was not so relaxing, being delayed by 28 hours, with many hours spent sitting on stairs in Madeira Airport. However, they got a free night in a 5-star hotel in a resort they had not previously visited. Monetary compensation followed!
In late July, Colin & Elizabeth took JJ and Caleb to Disneyland Paris - dreary weather but a good time was had by one and all. The journey south afterwards to the holiday house was enlivened by the car breaking down completely on a French toll road. Fortunately the rest of the traffic was moving at a snail's pace at the time and the rescue made an adventure.
All the family came to France for the August holiday this year including Heather. We were joined for one week by the Toulousian cousins (see photos at right) to add a multicultural slant. This meant learning a French grace to be sung before meals, eating French style starters, as well as main course duck. There were lots of recreational activities on offer at the house so grandparents were pitted against increasingly proficient table-tennis playing grandchildren.
Colin & Elizabeth are still active at Teddington Baptist Church and Colin with the London Baptist Association and the Teddington Society. Elizabeth is still making quilts for Project Linus.
Colin & Elizabeth have been exploring the tributaries of the Thames on their usual Mondays together. So far they have walked the Wandle, the Hogsmill, the Beverley Brook, the Mole, the Crane and the Yeading Brook. It has been quite astonishing how much green open space there is alongside these rivers as they flow through very built up areas of London. Most of the trails are well marked or can be followed from detailed instructions off the web. However, one day this autumn Colin & Elizabeth had to be rescued (soaking wet after an unexpected rainstorm) from a high-fenced wild tract of land owned by Network Rail in which they had got lost while looking for a tunnel under a railway line. Two caretakers from an adjacent college building brought out two stepladders to enable them to escape from behind a triple-locked gate!