Christmas letters from Ruth & Adrian Sharville

Sharville Christmas Newspoem 2005

Our nerves were frayed, our nails were bit to shreds.
The late-night highlights kept us from our beds.
Now it's just treasured memories of the story
How England's cricketers gained Ashes glory.

Our days out watching Gloucestershire have not
Matched England, or the weather - really hot.
They've had a season they'd wish to forget
But, hey, as England knows, that's just cricket.

So what have we been up to all this year?
(Which all too soon is set to disappear)
The usual work and holidays and garden -
If this sounds like last year I beg your pardon!

In April we went back to Northern Spain
And found it to out liking once again.
Near Santander we stayed, and made the most
Of train rides on the FEVE by the coast.

The FEVE from Bilbao to Santander
Took us past rugged hill and coastline fair.
It's cheap and very cheerful - the best train
To take you, narrow gauge, through Northern Spain.

Before that, back in March, a sight Ruth saw,
Our natural wonder - yes - the Severn Bore.
Since holidays in Gloucester as a child
She'd longed to see this famous sight so wild.

The wave's more like a wall, not wave, in section
And takes the river in the wrong direction.
Behind it comes immediate high tide.
Some said it really was a bore. They lied.

It's awesome, like the Northern Lights. You ponder
At nature's power and beauty and sheer wonder.
But sadly, as we know, this power can kill.
We pray for people who are suffering still.

The Shetland Islands were our destination
In June, for our main two week long vacation.
The weather it was good, and furthermore
About the best two weeks the islands saw.

We saw loved friends, and places we know well,
Played cricket on the golden sands of Yell.
And on the Fair Isle ferry we've now been -
Amazed we didn't turn a shade of green...

Yes, Fair Isle at Mid-Summer - Simmer Dim -
Is glorious if the weather's not too grim.
It wasn't, and we soaked up peace and song
As with the Isle, and friends, we sang along.

Once home, the garden took up all Ruth's time -
Our home-grown veg was once again sublime
Despite the efforts bold of snails and slugs,
The blackfly, cabbage whites, and such like bugs.

We had a lovely few days in South Brent
And also two nights in St. Ives. We went
To gardens, galleries, St. Michael's Mount,
And saw more autumn shades than I could count.

So what of Jet and Flash? Well, truth to say,
Jet gets a little frailer day by day.
Bus she's still happy, purring, and can climb
On to the bed, to sleep most of the time.

She loved to be out in this summer's sun,
And coped with Flash's warped idea of fun,
Like stalking her, pretending she's a rabbit -
Yes, Flash, bright spark, still has the kitten habit.

Ruth's Mum will spend her Christmas in the States
With Richard and his family. She hates
The notion that the weather could well be
All ice and snow and frost - we'll have to see...

And she's enabling her long-term intention
To stay just where she is - hence, an extension!
A bigger living room and downstairs loo
Will easier make things for her - and guests too.

And other highlights? Here are just a few:
We saw Chihuly's gorgeous glass at Kew;
Met heroes - Colin Pillinger, Chris Old;
Saw Alan Bennett plays - the man's pure gold.

So that is it - another year recorded.
We hope yours has been good; that you're rewarded
With joy this Christmas, peace in the New Year.
We raise a toast: "To all our friends good cheer!"

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