The New Year started with Liz in a Canoe – so no surprises there! She was joined on the wake by Bridget, Chris, Alex and Matthew for a short paddle on the Canal. Later in January Liz was off skiing in Val’d’Isere for a week with Bridget, her boys and her C2 partner Vicky.
Sarah returned home from touring the US following her study placement at the University of South Florida and was straight off back to Nottingham University. We have a belated Christmas Dinner on the 28 February with the whole family, including Sarah just in time for her 20th birthday.
March and Adrian and Liz go to lunch in Litchfield to meet up with University friends many of whom we haven’t seen in 20+ years.
Adrian and Liz spend the Easter weekend supporting Vicky and Janet who were paddling the Devises to Westminster in a C2 canoe. Janet slipped and fell down a hole at Garston Lock. Her leg got strapped up with gaffer tape and gets a steady supply of pain killers and they continue to finish the race. A subsequent trip to the Royal Berkshire Hospital the following day reveals a small break…
Liz has a break of her own in April. Matthew’s work experience placement was at Waitrose in Frimley, and on the way to meet him she got knocked off her bike with a resulting radial head fracture to her right arm.
Liz’s birthday treat is a family holiday in Brussels. we traveled by Eurostar and enjoy a bottle of wine under the channel. We packed in lots of sightseeing, finding out out how the European Parliament works, a trip inside the Atomium and just how big the Manekin Pis is (tiny!).
Liz had planned a 50th birthday paddle on the Dordogne – to race a C9 (9 person canoe) with a group of friends on 7 May. Two extra paddlers were recruited and the race went ahead with Liz and Janet as bankside support crew. Although they couldn’t paddle Liz and Janet still went to all the pre and post race parties. The plan is to try again next year.
Liz finally got afloat again in June at Guide Camp in a coracle she made herself and also joined 400 other members of the Guides in Camberley to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in a big party at the Basingstoke Canal Centre.
July saw Liz in the massive traffic jam going into Dover on the first day of the school holidays – overall delayed about 8 hours – on her way to Switzerland for a Girlguiding Camberley Division trip. She was in charge of the catering. Water boils at 93 degrees C up the mountains so potatoes took ages. While there she went abseiling down real rocks for the first time and enjoyed a trip up the Jungfraujoch on the train.
Adrian, Liz and Matthew had a week in Wales on the Gower camping with Bridget,Chris and Alex exploring a different beach every day. Surfing at Rhossili was cold, trying stand up paddleboarding at Oxwich was entertaining.
Peter took a week off in September to learn some D-I-Y skills and decorate his bedroom. The very trendy late 1990s coloured gloss paint was a challenge to paint over – not covered in one coat! We had several trips to the new IKEA in Reading for the furniture.
In November Liz tried a new paddlespot – outrigger racing. It was only at Henley but apparently there are more exotic locations in the south pacific for next time…
Adrian’s birthday trip to the West End theatre was to see ‘The Book of Mormon’ which was very funny – but we don’t suggest you take your parents!
Liz has completed her UKCC level 2 coaching qualification in Paddlesports.
As we are preparing for Christmas Liz would like to pass on the following tip – save the tots of whisky for after you have weighed out all the ingedients for your Christmas cake. We very nearly had 3 tbsp of chilli jelly rather than marmalade in our cake.
We wish everyone all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.
See more of our photos in the 2016 Photo Gallery