Mavis's mum is now 94 going on 95 and has generally continued in good health. We had a minor scare earlier this week when she woke with a bad chest and bringing up phlegm. We had to resort to a call to 999 and help from paramedics. She was admitted to hospital for a night but recovered well with the help of some antibiotics and is now as right as rain again.

My mum is now 81 but still lives on her own, although she continues to find it hard to get around.

About this time last year we saw a large white and black/grey cat around in the area, and discovered that he was living under our hammock in the garden. We fed him and adopted him, getting his jabs and chipping done by the vet. Unfortunately he developed on his ear what looked like an abscess but turned out to be an aggressive cancer (a Feline Fibro Sarcoma) and he had to have his ear removed - as you can see in the photo above. He weighs a stone. The other cat we had at the end of the year - Georgie - began to struggle badly with her digestion mid-year, and we had to have her put down.


Most of Phil's consulting work has petered out during the year, mainly because of the economic situation. However, he is now a fully trained CAB adviser and spends two nominal half days per week in Felixstowe advising people about a wide range of subjects. He will be training as a supervisor early next year.

He finished developing the Parish Plan for the 3 local villages in April and the final result was a very well-received 44 page document detailing the residents' aspirations for their villages. He's now part of a group working to get the actions from the plan carried out.

Mavis continues to make a number of dresses for friends - in particular wedding dresses (she often decorates the cake, too).


We haven't had a "proper" holiday this year, since we prefer to be around to look after Mavis's mum. We did manage a couple of nights in Paris, mainly paid for by the remnants of my travel rewards while we were working.

Phil had a week skiing in Colorado with Chris Pollard again. Unfortunately Chris fell and broke 2 knee ligaments, which put paid to his skiing for the duration. He did manage to get his insurers to upgrade him to business class for the flight home, though. We're going again this coming February, so we'll see how well his knee has mended.


The changes to the house have been mainly in the garden - a new oil tank (the old one was rusty when Phil moved in in 1987) and work on the garden generally. Apart from that, pretty much as we were, apart from re-tiling the kitchen and getting a new cooker.


Phil continues to try to take photos of birds and the holidays.

We both continue to be involved with Ipswich Gilbert and Sullivan Society, singing in the concerts in the first six months of the year. This years "show" was a double bill and Phil was cast as a principal in both of them - all very well, but too many lines to learn! Mavis had planned to do her normal work of costumier, but in the event the leading lady was too sick to take to the stage, and Mavis was asked to fill in at 2:20 p.m. on the afternoon of the first performance. She did the first 2 shows with great aplomb and to good feedback. Partly as a result of this she has been asked to appear in a production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" (but not as Lady Bracknell, if you're wondering).

That's all I can think of. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Mr & Mrs P E Holmes
16 December 2009

Paddock Hill
Grundisburgh Road
Great Bealings
IP13 6PE