Alan and Beryl’s Newsletter for 2016


              2016 was unusual in that Beryl did not go to Florida to visit her sister, Pam, so that all the winter was spent at home. It was a very mild winter, with no frosts and quite a lot of sunshine. The pool did not freeze over and were able to bring it up to a swimmable temperature with the aid of the solar blanket by April, which was about the time we went off for few days to Bordighera, just across the border in Italy. This trip gives us the opportunity to lunch at Garibaldi’s Trattoria, where the food is superb, stroll around the seaside, and then visit the street market in the morning. As the drive is only a couple of hours, it is a no-trouble get-away. We enjoy it so much that we went again in September, this time combined with a visit to Alba and the Barolo wine country. Also early in the year, Beryl got a ‘new’ car - actually it was the old faithful Honda Logo repainted white, but as it has low mileage and is in fine condition and has a wonderful CVT (continuously variable transmission) which you can’t get now in small cars here, we decided to stay with it.

              Summer was typically sunny and hot, and we were quite content to stay at home with short trips around. The pool performed well and was in high demand. We also decided to ‘move’ the pool house to give us more room on the terrace around the pool. This involved getting planning permission, getting our local mason to build the new building and demolish the old one and resurface the terrace. The electrics had to be redone in the new building and then the plumbing - that gave me the opportunity to do it right! We are very pleased with the result, both visually and in action. During the constructions, we had visitors, which caused us to put the poolhouse on hold for a couple of weeks so we could keep the pool in action.

               In July, our first visitors were Paul, Shawn and Camille, which gave us the opportunity for partaking of good food and wine and the traditional curry evening. Chris Marwood arrived to continue her search for somewhere to live in southern France, (she found place in Cotignac, about 30 km north of us). At the end of the month Ken and Adrian Round arrived for a couple of days, which was most enjoyable. I should have gone to London for a reunion dinner with Ken, Peter Jones and Brinsley Sheridan (school friends from Emanuel days) and was fully booked to fly to London City and stay in Gower Street, but had to cancel out at the last minute when I started getting blood in the urine. This lasted for a week and stopped with the administration of a new drug for the prostate and I followed up with numerous tests and visits to the urologist, after which I am declared ok, come back in a year for a checkup.

              August and September were taken up with typical summer pastimes and much use of the pool which continued until mid-October. The weather continued clement up into November, with a few days of rain, heavy at times, but no flooding. In December the approach of Christmas takes centre stage, this year the English population made up a little choir to sing English carols for the benefit of our French neighbours. Spiced up with mulled wine it was very popular and we gave the ‘concert’ three times.

              We wish all our friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Love from Alan and Beryl