The Smith 2015 Christmas Message ...

Well what can we tell you about 2015 - it has been an interesting year, the kind of interesting where there were many ups, downs, milestones accomplished and "what the fuck's" taking place.

If you are a little adverse to the occasional sweary entry - best go and Google some fluffy kittens.

We put out Christmas message posts in 20122013, cynical in 2014 and here again in 2015.

So, what has happened and what can we post - if you are a fan of Bloody Professionals. You will have learned that our daughter Victoria has moved to her own flat. This has been both a positive experience and an endurance of some utter Muppets. Very much a journey where we are collectively learning how to handle a new wave of care professionals and all the support services she needs. However, we are beginning to see who are the 'adults' as well as the 'children' amongst these so called professionals.

Our son Jeremy handed in his notice and left his last position on Christmas Eve, 2014. Keen to professionally inflect the single digit to an employer who suddenly went from reasonable to untenable. After a couple of weeks of chilling out, he managed to snap up an interview and get a position at the Lickfold Inn. Starting in February, it was only open 6 weeks prior and is an up and coming establishment co-owned by a Michelin starred chef. In the last ten months both his workplace and Jeremy has gone from strength to strength. We cannot deny that we are biased parents. However, we are very pleased to see that they have acquired 3 AA rosettes and are now in the Times top 100. There is a suspicion that there are many other interesting things to come - so watch this space.

Shirley is back on the road towards learning to drive and remains chief hostage negotiator in all matters regarding Victoria's care. Often she resembles a Rose, as she remains a constant thorn in the side of many foolish individuals.

Andrew has been promoted to Senior Lecturer. In OULand (and academia in general) the career ladder is different - where academics progress via what can be described as a meritocracy. Having more pies than fingers to shove in them - he has been busy on a number of interesting projects.

One accomplishment that should not go unmissed - it was our 25th wedding anniversary and also the last year of having any teenagers in our family. Our children are now in their twenties and Shirley has achieved 25 years of putting up with Andrew.

A new travel first was unlocked, as Shirley joined Andrew at a conference in the Azores - we can only commend this destination to all that enjoy interesting places. Additionally, we also introduced friends to the joys of 'glamping' - and they are still talking to us.

In wider news, we seem to be up this year on weddings - having appeared at three. We had a wonderful time catching up with some very old friends this summer in Guernsey as well as going to Northumberland for a family wedding, not forgetting one within a quarter of a mile of our home.


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