Family Newsletter for 1999

Each year we send out a Christmas Newsletter to family and friends.
The text below is a slightly edited version of what we sent out for Christmas 1999.

Colin and Elizabeth
BNSC logo

Colin moved to a new DTI post as Director General of the British National Space Centre (BNSC) at the beginning of October. This was a wrench after over five years as DTIís Director - Environment although one famous environmental activist suggested that this was a natural move - from saving the world to saving the rest of the universe. The new post will require him to travel more but not necessarily in space. Since the beginning of October he has already been on business to Brussels, Paris (twice), Stockholm, and Darmstadt. He expects to spend so much time in Paris that he has started French lessons with Nicole!


Colin has made good progress with researching Jamesí and Richardís family histories. He has found that in the first half of the last century the Carpenter family was based in Portsea, Hampshire and the Evans family in Narberth, Pembrokeshire.


Jasper in Oct 1999
Jasper in October 1999

Elizabeth happily divides her paid work time between teaching at Chase Bridge School in Twickenham and doing some private tuition as a result of completing her course in teaching children with dyslexia. She is also to be found with Jasper around town, park, and sandpit where she meets lots of friends she can show him off to.

Car This was the year (in twelve) when we changed our car. People no longer recognise us by the decrepitude of the vehicle we are driving. This one is also from the Austin/Rover stable but, unlike the old one, you can still admire its red sheen.

Joanna and Colin did a double act in November at the Oxford Ethical Careers Fair - explaining to the sceptical students that working in the Civil Service was not (overly) damaging to your conscience.


Click here to see
Colin and Elizabeth's
Christmas Card to You!

Christmas star

"We have seen
His star in the East"

Matthew 2:2 (KJV)

Holidays We continued our European city breaks: Lisbon, for a week after Easter for warmth plus coach, jeep, train and bus travel. Prague, in May for heat and storms plus a toy train tour. The cathedral tower was a phobic experience for both of us - Elizabeth suffered going up (she gets claustrophobic and the narrow spiral staircase was nearly too much for her) while Colin suffered up the top (he has no head for heights). Bruges, in October for cool, dry weather and a canal cruise. That was Elizabeth's first time on Eurostar (but Colin's third such trip in successive weeks!). In every city we walked and walked, but Bruges was the flattest. (Neither of us went up the landmark tower this time!) Here we had Joy and Donald Bell as companions with whom to enjoy pavement cafť waffles and coffee.

In August we shared a house near Milverton in Somerset with Richard, Rachel, Jasper, and Rose (Richard's Mum). Joanna and James dropped in for a couple of days. Although it was deep in the countryside the most notable local land mark was the line of pylons!

Joanna had a nasty bicycle accident during September while on holiday in France with James and Heather - she fractured her jaw and had to have an operation in a French hospital. Fortunately she recovered well and was soon back at work but still needs a fair bit of dentistry.


The Millennium Man

Teddington Baptist Church Our life in Teddington has continued to centre around Teddington Baptist Church which keeps us busy in a variety of ways. Colin is on the Leadership Team and Elizabeth is now responsible for the Welcome Team. At home we have offered hospitality with Sunday lunches for singles and have had numerous Tearfund house guests from around the world. Mbairodbbee, their Regional Advisor in West Africa, considers himself to be at home when he stays with us. Jasper has even learnt to say his name.


Richard, Rachel & Jasper

Jasper and Greatgrand-dad
Jasper and his Greatgrand-dad

Rachel is still at home most of the time looking after Jasper. But she combines part-time teaching of English to refugees at a college in Southall with doing some private tuition. (Colin and Elizabeth are delighted with the chance to refresh their child-care skills - although Colin has been known to forget that Jasper's essential night-time attire includes a nappy!)

Richard passed his first set of sergeant's examinations early in the year. He has just started an 'A'-level evening course in French (but does not have the benefit of private lessons from Nicole - see above).

Jasper has now been reprogrammed to say "Two years old" rather than "Nearly two" when asked his age. He is very advanced with his speech and more than capable of expressing his preferences in complete sentences ("I like that" he says meaningfully, pointing at his grandfather's bowl of dessert.)


Joanna and James

Stable under Easter Sky
sample Clipper Cards design

Joanna is still working in the UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sport as a fast-streamer. She is experimenting with making greeting cards at home (Clipper Cards) and Colin designed that web site for her - use it to order next year's Christmas cards now!

James is still at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London). He is deeply involved with the music at their church in Beckenham - including playing the organ and arranging concerts. But he still found time to give the inaugural recital on the new organ at their previous church in Oxford.


Rest of the Family

Jasper and Heather
Jasper and Heather (Elizabeth's sister)

Heather is still working for Healthlink Worldwide - a charity which seeks to improve the health of poor and vulnerable communities around the world. She has had more trips around the world during the year than ever before and will be spending most of December in India and Nepal.

Andrew (Elizabeth's brother) fulfilled his ambition to fly somewhere for a holiday. One of the carers from Solden Hill House, where he lives, accompanied him on a trip to Dublin. Unfortunately while he was there he had a collision with a bike and landed up in hospital. This was apparently the year for family cycle accidents!



e-mail addresses
e-mail to Colin and Elizabeth:

Colin's web sites:
Colinís office e-mail:
Colin's office web site:

e-mail to James:
e-mail to Joanna:
The Clipper Cards web site is at: