Greetings and annual news from Joy and Eric for
Christmas 2016 and New Year 2017. Yet another year has flown by!
always, it has been a busy year on all counts. Lots of dancing and music of course. The
clog dancers are busier than the morris dancers, and as well as the regular Monday
shows and practices we’ve had more than usual whole days of dance (and
therefore playing) at festivals, not all in the best of weather. And the famous
Freds Folks ceilidh band (first broadcast 1960!) has increased in numbers, we’ve
acquired new flute and fiddle players, and the wonderful young Aaron who is mainly
on drum but occasionally on tuba and is busy learning other instruments.
Not as much walking and cycling this year as before, but Eric is at long
last getting back to regular cycling (the surgeon said I should have got back
to cycling sooner, but it’s hard work). The trouble with walking is that I
can’t stop tearing leaves off trees, see later!
Our main summer holiday was camping and visiting in Germany and France.
Our new (red) vehicle was ready just in time for the holiday, and is a pleasure
to drive. We went first to Bremen to stay at Suzi’s for a few nights. Then on
to Bommersheim to see the rest of the German gang (who now have had to get
German citizenship and passports due to Brexit), including the usual gig there
for charity with Joy as MC in German. Great fun! We visited the twins’ apartment
nearer to their work in downtown Frankfurt, but still in reach of volleyball
and home comforts in Bommersheim. Then camping across France in the rain, and
even when it didn’t rain the midges had been breeding in great numbers. But all
a great pleasure, and it included in Saumur a lucky co-incidental visit there
by Anita and Hamish’s community band. The holiday ended with a few days with
our great French friends in Brittany, Liliane & Andre and Marie-Paul &
Bernard. These Bretons know how to extend wonderful hospitality!
Joy continues her breath-taking non-stop activities of clog dancing,
MC-ing with Freds Folks, Aquafit, helping at Food Bank and singing. Eric has a
quiet life of playing for clog and morris dancing, leading the enlarged Freds
Folks, walking, cycling and pottery. The posh word for pottery is “ceramics”,
and since I accepted a commission from Nottingham City Council for two ceramic artworks
I now class as a “ceramic artist”!?!? The artwork took over my life for six
months and involved pressing leaves, fruit and other objects into porcelain
tiles before firing, which is why I can’t go for a walk now without returning
with a backpack full of leaves and twigs. The artworks are now mounted in
public view near us. The “ordinary” pottery output has therefore been somewhat
reduced this year!
The rest of the family all thrive. Anita and Hamish are busy with music
and cycling/running as well as looking after Jenna (now studying Interior
Design at Coventry) and Sean (now at sixth form college doing science). Jean
and Rory keep gardening, singing and fiddling and have a great circle of
friends around Horsham.
Our usual pre-Christmas trip to Karen & Angus and the German Christmas markets was cancelled due to a strike of Luftwaffe pilots, but we look forward to seeing them at Christmas here.
Total walking this year 250km, cycling only 450km. Total pottery 300
pots and 150 tiles using 800 lbs of porcelain and 60 kiln firings using 4000
kwh of electricity.
Don’t forget snail-mail is 31 Greenfield Street, Nottingham NG7 2JN,