October – November – December


Roger’s indoor bowling season got underway in October, with a mix of morning, afternoon and evening matches at the Littleton Bowling Club.


On Wednesday 18 October we took our shareholders’ trip on the GWR, going north towards Broadway on the diesel railcar just before lunch,  and going back after lunch for a steam service from Toddington to Cheltenham Racecourse and return.  Quite a busy day for the railway, with several parties filling entire coaches, including a class of schoolchildren enacting the war-time evacuation scenario.


November brought our annual flu jabs and a car service, the latter the last in Malvern under our service plan.  On Wednesday 22 Teresa took a trip to Winchester to see Mike and his mother and was right royally looked after there.


Otherwise November was quiet month, apart from Roger’s bowling activities, which included Overbury Bowling Club’s AGM on Friday 24.


Christmas preparations started to dominate December, while the first spell of wintry weather on Sunday 10 meant that bowling at Littleton was cancelled for a couple of days.  Our car, having reached three years’ old, required its first MOT.  One of our first Christmas tasks was to go to a local farm for a Christmas tree, which was duly decorated by Teresa and Juliet, with some assistance from a visiting Christmas elf (see right).  Although Teresa conducts the majority of her Christmas purchasing on-line nowadays, she and Jay did have a day in Oxford, seeing the new Westgate shopping centre which has been two or three years in the making (see left).



The month was notable for two major problems with utilities:  we were without water supplies for nearly two days during the weekend of 15-16 December, following a major breakage in a Severn Trent pipe supplying the Tewkesbury area.  Bottled water supplies were made available, but initially only in Tewkesbury.  As it happened, Teresa and Juliet were making their annual visit to The Messiah on the Saturday evening, so were able to stop off and bring some back.  The following day copious supplies were brought to the village hall in Toddington.  Then, just after Christmas, on Tuesday-Wednesday 26 and 27, we were without power for most of 24 hours.  The problem was eventually fixed when two large generators were parked in the road just outside.  Luckily, as damage to the overheads lines seems to be quite common around here, we have plenty of candles and a couple of gas fires, so could alleviate the worst of the discomfort.








Our Christmas experience started on Saturday 23, when we were up very early to collect our Christmas orders from Evesham, and, later in the day, Helen from Moreton.  On Christmas Eve we had our traditional meal – Beef Wellington with starters and puddings to taste, again superbly cooked by Teresa with some help from the girls.  We has our traditional turkey lunch on Christmas Day, followed by the opening of presents, one of which was a hand-made fire-etching of Roger’s old violin ‘Victor’ (see left). 


For entertainment we watched seasonal programmes on television, had a few party games, and battled with Teresa’s seasonal quizzes.  As usual we had all prepared some musical contributions for our family Christmas concert on Boxing Day:  some piano solos and duets by Teresa, Helen and Juliet, singing by Helen, and some folk fiddling by Roger and Juliet, who also provided guitar and piano accompaniments where appropriate.


There was further wintry weather on Wednesday 27, though not sufficient to disrupt transport, so on Thursday 28 Helen was able to get to a cold and bleak Moreton railway station (see right) and Roger to resume bowling at Littleton.


Our last celebrations of the year were, of course, to see in the New Year on Sunday 31.  We again cheated by time-shifting the moment by watching celebrations from further east and using recorded bongs from Big Ben (well we all had to do that this year).  So well before midnight we had already drunk a toast, sung Auld Lang Syne, played Da Day Dawn and welcomed the first-footing Roger.







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