i-Recall 2007

....as Chris & Denise succumb to the trend of putting a small 'i' in front of just about anything

in a desperate attempt to try to make it sound trendy......



As we left the Dodges  at the end of 2006, Chris, having just passed his Class 1 HGV test, was waiting on the results of an interview with Network Rail, Denise had more-or-less recovered from her broken leg, and had handed in her notice at Lucas's, and Bonzo was getting to grips with being an 'only dog'. Now read on...

First things first. Bonzo just LOVES being the only dog, revelling in the titbits, cuddles and general spoiling that are the inevitable perks of the job. To many peoples' surprise, there have been no serious discussions whatsoever about further additions to the canine establishment, though there have been discussions about her weight !  She needed a trip to her new vet's in mid-December as she was mugged by a Staffy (eventually hanging by her throat from the other dog's tooth !) but happily she got away with a single puncture wound and some bruises - it could have been much worse !

Morris, who has just turned 11 (yes, really !) has now retired. School visits do not form part of Denise's JD these days, and in any event he has acquired a bit of a reputation for biting ! Three years ago he was involved in a near-fatal road accident, and it sad to relate that he seems to have been slightly 'damaged goods' ever since. Still, better an occasionally-stroppy-for-no-discernable-reason cat than no cat at all.

And Austin....is just Austin.  That said he much more visible around the house, and enjoys playing with the other animals when they'll let him.  The humans still can't get anywhere near him though......

What then of the humans ? Denise moved to 'Nature Vets' in Bath at the end of January. The problem there was there was very little to actually do, with very little client contact. Time to move on....to Bath Vet Group. Not far away from Nature Vets, and with much more client contact, but a change in working hours from permanent 11am - 6pm to earlier starts and finishes, which in turn meant doing battle with horrendous traffic.  The journey of around 10 miles was taking anything up to an hour. And however good the job, the commuting was never going to go away. Time to move on again....to Fernlea. Or rather back to Fernlea, as this was the surgery where Denise worked before her move to Lucas's in 1989, back in the days when it was 'Hoare & Harper'. Initially she's covering three lots of maternity leave, so technically she's only contracted up until next June, though we have high hopes that she will be kept on as she is really enjoying the job.

That means that for a couple of weeks Denise & Chris were both, technically at least, on temporary contracts as maternity cover. Yes, Chris did get a job at Network Rail, but having come fourth out of the four successful applicants, became 'maternity cover' until appointed to a permanent post in December. The job is best described as 'working out which cock-ups are responsible for which delays to which trains', and with most of Wales to cover, there's usually plenty to keep him busy.


The job is, of course, based in the centre of Cardiff, the cultural capital of Wales !  Being at the heart of such a vibrant city, particularly during evenings and weekends, means that those gazing out of the windows of St David's House can bear witness to sex, violence, drugs and rock and roll, frequently all in the same evening.  A recent evening was livened up considerably by none other than Dr Who and the Tardis materialising in the street that runs along the back of the building !  The sight of Catherine Tate needing at least four takes to squawk "That's my car !, that's my destiny !" to the director's eventual satisfaction will live long in the memory !

Enough waffle - Chris's PC currently carries a screensaver with all the best pix from 2007, so to finish off,  let some of them tell their own story......

At Ilfracombe, on New Year's Day

Inbound to Tenerife in January, with the peak of Mount Teide sticking up above the clouds


View from the apartment at dusk......


......and in the morning.


The beach at night.


It's gert lush, but it's not a G&T !


Never be caught without reading matter !


Who's that girl ?


Fat Bastard Pies at Lee Abbey


Time for the Roberts family's annual gurning competition !


Denise and Small Dog at Berrow


'Contented' of Woolacombe, in early April.


Perfect weather for Chris's birthday celebrations (Summer 2007 fell in April, remember ?)


'Torlief' moored at Beeston Castle in early May - the perfect weather that morning was NOT representative !


A spring morning near the 'forest'  We have to make the most of this - the field shown here is due to be built on !


The start of summer - Steve & Rachel's barbecue.


Followed, next day, by Kemble Airday.....


...which included a mock ground attack.......


...with LOTS of pyros !


And so to France.... this is Carcassonne at dusk


'Contented' of Colombiers....


Dusk at Les Onglous, with Sete in the background.



Two fat bastards at lunchtime - at Meze, just before it tipped down with rain.  The chips look good !


Pale early morning sunlight on the boat, as we cross a rather rough Etang de Thau at sunrise !


The staircase at Fonserrannes, drained overnight......


......and looking considerable busier a few days later !


Jude & Christine before taking to the air late in July, and no, she isn't clinging on out of terror....


..in fact she made a fine job of flying 'Bravo Golf'.....


...so that's alright then !


To Old Warden for the Flying Proms in August.....


A chance to enjoy those lovely old 'planes in the summer evening sun,


and have a picnic !


A day out at Lapworth in late August


"Make mine a large one" !


Aboard 'Patricia' at Marple in September.


And suddenly it was winter !  Still, this wasn't bad for November - it's Salcombe on the 3rd.


The perfect way to spend a November Sunday afternoon !  The view is from Hope Cove.

Have a great Xmas 2007 and a happy and prosperous 2008

Chris & Denise