Another Christmas (bah Humbug!!) message from the Smiths …

The Smith family Christmas blog entry.

Rather than sending a letter to all, which we feel is becoming somewhat cliché and means that we have to bother remembering who we are posting what to.

We (well I actually) have resorted to writing a Christmas blog entry and sharing it with the world. As this blog links to my twitter and facebook feeds and can be shared by other family members then we are reaching the majority of those whom we care about.

If you missed the last post from 2011, it can be found at it gives all our reasons for not doing Christmas cards and preferring social media.

Naturally if you believe that I (we) are humbugs, that’s nice, I am sure those of you who actually know us. Know that we care little about such views.

In reality and in our modern connected and conversely disconnected world, if you have followed either Teraknor or Bloody Professionals, you have a pretty decent idea of what has been going on.

This has been supported by the occasional rant (sorry Tweet!!), pretty and not so pretty pictures (Instagram, is it really worth 4 billion) and our varied Facebook posts.

For our daughter, we alluded last year to the long grind and a battle; this has been won, now located in a special education college ‘up north’. She is beginning to get the benefit of an education that could not (would not) be provided years ago.

It has not been without the efforts of mum and a few heroic souls who have seen to her education over the last four years. Some heroes will read this, we thank you; you are wonderful people.

There have been some ‘feck wits’ as well; some are still enduring our tight twisting grasp on their pudenda.

Our Son, has gone from strength to strength, he successfully completed his apprenticeship a la Michelin, at the start of August and had is first job within the month.

Within a fortnight of starting at the local ‘country’ hotel, he was head hunted by a former colleague (at the Michelin) who is now a head chef at a 4* hotel in the Cotswolds. Getting a better deal, better hours and better development opportunities. By the end of September, bags were packed and son moved to the far side of Oxfordshire.

There is a reality check here, in the world of being a professional chef (not the packet food type), there is a serious skills shortage. Our son has had the right start after having to deal with some idiots and is reaping the rewards.

So what of the olds, aka my wife and I; suddenly we have an empty nest most of the time. Are we sad, far from it, we enjoy the company of our offspring when they return and love tidiness the rest of the time.

Shirley is still contemplating the notion of consultant; there are some battles still to be fought. But now these are more remote and need a different tack. Having started a bread-baking group, here is an interesting project that is likely to flourish.

Andrew is always busy, ever having fingers in fires and many irons in pies. Some research initiated a couple of years ago and published last year has garnered buy in from a large networking equipment manufacturer (can you guess). Whilst it is very early days, this may soon develop.

We have not travelled so much this year, having spent much of our time going to-and-fro with our daughters’ induction/trials at her new college. In spite of this, we can still account for …

 The up north bit, where our daughter now is (family)
Spain (pleasure)
Paris (family wedding)
Somerset (pleasure)
Cornwall (work)
New Forest (pleasure)
Durham/Northumbria (work)
Budapest (pleasure)

In entertainment terms, we did go to three different Olympic events between us and also see Shakespeare at the Globe, in our Luddite journey. The Olympic has not inspired any interest in watching sports, but we must share that it was worth the effort.

The Shakespeare play was ‘12th Night’ with Stephen Fry, the tickets were a coup and worth the effort, Andrew is not ashamed of the fact that he is a Fry-Fan-Boy and also enjoyed the entire production.

Andrew also received tickets for father’s day to see the Idiot Bastard Band, paid for by the offspring. A collective of Adrian Edmundson, Phil Jupitus, Roland Riveron and Neil Innes, an entirely classic and entertainingly eclectic evening.

2013 will be a unique alignment in the Smith calendar, three souls will have landmark birthdays in the same year, between August 2013 and December 2013, there will be:

A 21st Birthday
An 18th Birthday
And a 50th as well

Andrew has decided to run and hide.


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