Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

To all our friends and family, we would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2009.

It's amazing how another year has crept past so quickly, yet so much has happened, this has been both a trying year and indeed a very successful year for us, we have lost dear friends but have made some new ones.

The year did not get off to a very bright one, and in February my new boss who never really liked me offered me a voluntary redundancy, anyway to cut a very long story short I was absolutely devastated, although I should have seen it coming as every other person who had worked with me before he arrived, had left either by him convincing them that there was no position in the company for them or by just not renewing their contract.

It was absolutely amazing how my friends rallied around me offering me sound advice, and just being there for me. People who have been around for the past 7 years, I got really ill as well and got the worst bout of bronchitis since I gave up smoking 3 years ago. Anyway after loads of discussions with the Director I left the company at the end of June.

In March we went over to the UK on the ferry, decided to spend a week and see old friends, we saw Eric and Margaret who I had met in Australia in 1998 and had not seen them for 10 years, I had been promising them I would visit, Eric who was 82 had been diagnosed with Emphysema and actually passed away a few months later, so it was all part of the big plan for us to see him before he passed on. We also stayed with Guy & Wendy and had snow, since then they have parted company after 10 years but are still good friends. We saw the city of Bath which was amazing, and saw my half sister who is now 88 and her family in Manchester.

In April we went to the Isle of Man, which was very different.

Then in May by sister Irene came over for a holiday, it was a bit of a stressful time for me as I was on Garden leave, trying to pack up house and just in general unsure of what was going to happen to us. However I managed to spend some time with her and we got to see a few places, she also flew over to Manchester and Edinburgh.

Before Irene arrived we had to find a house to buy as there was no way that the bank would give us a mortgage for what we wanted if I was not working, we looked at loads of places and some I was keen on and Derrick wasn't and vice verso. Eventually some time in April we came across the house we are in now, I can't say we fell madly in love with it, but we decided it was the most practical and nicest house we had seen, and best of all it had lovely views of the Dublin / wicklow mountains from the back and was not over looked. So the process began and we got the keys for the house on the beginning of July. Emily was at summer camp for 2 weeks so I could get all the cleaning done and we could move over slowly.

My adoptive mother Irene S. came over in July and gave us a helping hand with the move, we had the worst summer in Ireland as it rained practically every day, and trying to move with the rain is just a bit of a nightmare. Irene was such a help as we had furniture delivered and when I could not be in two places at one time she was there to help out. We finally had the place looking like home and moved in. Irene went off to do some more travelling and a week later D's folks arrived from SA.

We had booked to go to Croatia in January that year, not knowing what was going to be ahead of us, and the tickets & accommodation were paid for so there was no way we were not going to have the holiday, besides by the time the holiday came around I really deserved it and was looking forward to 2 solid weeks of Sunshine, away from the miserable Irish weather, which we got!

We were in Croatia for 2 weeks from the beginning of August and we all loved it, the accommodation was perfect we were across the road from the beach and could go down anytime and swim. We did loads of sight seeing and decided it is on the list of places to go back to.

We were barely back in Ireland when D's folks left to go back to SA, and 2 weeks later Emily started her first day of school. D's folks were a huge help to us and his mom sewed on practically every label on Emily's school uniform.

While we were away on holiday in Croatia, I got a call from a company who wanted me to come and work for them on a contract basis, however they wanted me to have my own company as that way they would not have to get the approval of a headcount from their global head office. So I looked into starting my own company and got all the paper work together and got that off, so that is how Rowe Consultants was born, I decided on the name, so that if D decided at a later stage he wanted to consult he would not have to open his own company but could just work for me ;-) !!!

I put together my first business proposal ever and sent it into the company and it was accepted, so I started working there the middle of September, the great thing is I get to set my own hours (most of the time), so I work from 8 - 1 or 1:30 and then pick up Emily from school and take her home, it all works out well, at the moment anyhow.

The last couple of months have been pretty hectic, with work, school, etc.

Emily is doing very well at school and her teacher is surprised at her ability to learn Irish as neither D nor I speak Irish, she is apparently very good. I think or should I say I hope that she has a flare for languages as she has already learned a bit of Spanish from "Dora the explorer" and can count to 8 in Spanish. I do hope she decides to either to Spanish or French at school.

Her swimming is also coming along really well and the teacher said she may be able to take off the arm bands after Christmas. She participated in her class concert that we went to see, and yesterday at the Christmas Church service at St. Bartholomew's Church in Ballsbridge, she came in holding a candle. Hopefully next year she will be part of the choir as she has such a wonderful voice.
We went to quite a few concerts this year, Def Leppard in Belfast which was amazing! Derrick saw a few of his and then we saw, Swan Lake at the Gaiety and the South African production of the Magic Flute which too was absolutely brilliant. We saw Bruce Springsteen at the RDS what a man!
The best was however Amy's Angel at the Olympia in which Emily took part both as a ballerina and singing. Emily is really talented and loves the Drama, singing and also enjoys painting and drawing.
On Sunday we are going to see the pantomime Cinderella and that will be the concerts for this year, however we already have a few tickets lined up for next year as well as a trip to London on the 14th of February, to meet up with Gwen on the 17th who is coming over for a few days. So folks I have probably left out a whole lot of stuff that we did this year but I am sure that this is the just of it.
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and looking forward to catching up with you all. May 2009 be happy, healthy and prosperous for us all!

Lots of Love

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