The highlight of our year was watching our two granddaughters get to know each other. Brianna at age 3 and Aida at 18 months met in Granada, Spain for Brianna’s birthday celebration with her Spanish family.
The two little girls learnt to play together and the parents and grandparents enjoyed watching them. Brianna and Aida continue to renew their friendship in FaceTime calls with chatter, showing off their toys and dancing to their favourite songs.
I have given them each a dolly – a grandmother’s prerogative. Now they can compare the dollies when they chat.
We spent 5 months in Europe, predominantly to get to know Brianna in Berlin. We loved playing with her and taking her to the many playgrounds in their neighbourhood. It was also great to spend quality time with Hayden and Andrea.
They have now moved to their new home in Granada but continue to hold down their jobs with Here and Uberall, respectively.
We spent 2 weeks touring Portugal’s west coast with Evan, Steph and Aida. Travel is slow with a little one, giving us time to contemplate our surroundings.
We struck heatwaves in Granada and again in Switzerland where daytime temperatures rose to a sizzling 35°C.
We also spent a couple of months touring UK and Ireland, where we continuously ran into cool damp weather, circumventing Europe’s heatwaves. Highlights were the archaeological sites of the Orkney Islands and the west coast of Ireland.
Evan and Steph have resumed working for past companies, Evan on contract with the IW Group out of New York and Steph with ACER in Melbourne. We relish the opportunity to take Aida out for ice creams and playground visits regularly while her parents work.
There were lows in our year, mostly to do with broken items – dish washer, air con, washing machine, camera, backup drive (yes we religiously backup our photos) and even me with severe anaemia in Barcelona. I’m well now, but it did curtail some of our planned adventures.
Our donation, in lieu of a tangible Christmas greeting this year, is to the Red Cross in their support of the people of Ukraine. On the same note, we are enjoying the series “Servant of the People” and have come to admire Volodymyr Zelenskyy both for his acting and his stoic guidance through the war initiated by Russia.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and good health and fun times in 2023.
What follows is a gallery of photos for 2022 – some travels and some ‘at home’.
Lots of time with Aida this year.
We arrived in May and stayed until October. Some adventures in between, but lots of time to spend with the family.
We toured with Ev, Steph and little Aida. Touring with a toddler forces you to slow down and take in your surroundings. Big thank you to Aida for your patience. Perhaps you won’t remember this journey, but it will be there in pixels for you.
Of course Brianna’s third birthday was the highlight.
Now they have moved to Granada and Brianna is settling into school there.
I spent some time in hospital in Spain with severe anaemia. It slowed our travels a little.
Bruce and I missed the wedding event, but Hayden and Evan and their families had a great time there.
I little R&R for me as I recovered. A heatwave with sunflowers drooping and beet withering.
UK, Bristol to the Orkney’s
A highlight of our journey was to visit the Orkney’s. We enjoyed Bristol, hunting out Banksy’s and the stay in Seahouses and Inverness on our journey there.
UK, John O’Goats to Liverpool
A journey down the rugged west coast of Scotland with narrow roads and challenging ‘passing points’.
We enjoyed wet Glasgow and sunny Edinburgh then made our way to Carlisle and Liverpool.
UK, Northern Ireland
Crossed the Irish Sea from Liverpool to explore Northern Ireland. The troubles certainly troubled us, but a wonderful open air museum made up for it.
We enjoyed our time in Ireland, but not the weather, so pics are quite limited.
UK, Manchester to Bristol via Wales
We arrived in Manchester as Queen Elizabeth’s death was announced. Manchester was a sad wet place.
Our journey around the west coast of Wales was fantastic, with a final stop in Cardiff.
We finished our UK tour back in Bristol.
I continued my knitting and even some sewing, between travelling. Lots of hats and doll’s clothes and a massive jumper for Evan.
Previous Christmas stories are available but password protected. Please contact Thea to access these stories.