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The highlights of 1998 in this the fiftieth year for both for us (Francis in August and Sandra in February) were our summer holidays (aren’t they for most people) and the fact that we still have our jobs (no small matter in these unsettling times). Sandra and I spent three great weeks in St. Lucia, St. Marten and Antigua respectively. Although naturally centred on the beach this was no lazy holiday. We did a lot of fun sailing on sunfish, snorkelling, sea-fishing and sight-seeing. This included a tough rain forest walk rewarded by a refreshing swim in a rock pool drenched by a beautiful waterfall and hiring a car to visit the more way-out places. Rarely could there be more variety in three Caribbean islands

For entertainment, the year’s high spot was perhaps our trip to Disneyland Paris which, unsurprisingly, we thoroughly enjoyed, especially the evening’s marvellous electrical parade. Other outings were to hear Handel’s sumptuous Alexander’s Feast, played in the Royal Chapel in Windsor Castle and three visits to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, where the company of players really transported us back in time. We should also not forget our visit to Finchcocks and our annual trip on the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer, this time to Southend-on-Sea, which I had never visited before.

We still keep to our work; Sandra is still delivering the local newspapers but now embarked on market research and Francis is still teaching Information Technology at the local further Education College. After several years we have at last received a (1.5%) pay rise.

After completing a design course Sandra was one of the successful participants at the summer Woolwich College Art Exhibition at the Gallery in Powys Street.

Our Gamelan group proceeds well under the guidance of our music-master and this year we have given very successful concerts at the South Bank and in Stevenage (as part of that town’s music festival).

Despite breaking a wrist in a spill in February (and not realising that I had done so for a whole day) we still clock up the miles on our Transalp while four-wheel drivers seem to be stationary in an ever-expanding steel jungle on our roads.

The cats are all in good health and thriving: these include Bimba, Kasper, Zosma, Zania, and Pippo.

Sadly, Myvanwy, our lovely tortoiseshell from a Welsh farmhouse, vanished while we were away in the summer, despite our rigorous arrangements for a cat-minder during our absence.

Francis managed to get several of his poetical efforts published in various anthologies throughout the year and is now preparing to publish a collection from the Magnetic Poets’ group in Greenwich.

Do not forget: our cottage in Wales, now with a fully refurbished state-of-the-art kitchen is available for any bookings you might wish to take up at very reasonable rates. Do visit our Web Site at WWW.Angelfire.Com for further information. Our E-mail address is

May we take this opportunity of wishing you a very prosperous and happy new year,


Francis and Sandra Dec 1998