Christmas letters from Ruth & Adrian Sharville

Sharville Christmas Newspoem 2001

From friends of ours I've pilfered this idea
To write in verse the story of our year.
I trust they won't inflict assault and battery
Since imitation's the best form of flattery!

Where to begin? I'll start at last December
A time St. Magnus Church will all remember -
The advent of our rector, who, bright spark
With sermons on fork handles made his mark.

On Christmas Day we found a sure-fire winner,
The local Indian Restaurant's Christmas dinner.
So much did we appreciate their cooking
That we have just confirmed our this year's booking.

After Up Helly Aa and winter's snow,
Thoughts turned to holidays, and where to go.
A trip to France and Spain we hit upon
For Mum's big day - but more of that anon.

Before that Adrian secured a place
At his Trade Union's conference. Not a trace
Of doubt was in my mind that we should take
(With his fares paid) an extra little break.

To friends we saw, thanks for your hospitality
Much fun we had, much drink and joviality!
To those we missed - next time we'll do our best
To plan a route to catch up with the rest.

We have to say we fell in love with Kent
And felt a lot more time could have been spent
Exploring, but the foot and mouth restriction
Meant sampling beer became, well, an addiction...

We shall return (so friends in Kent look out!)
But I must now tell all of you about
Our summer (or the one, you may remember
We didn't get - again - until September).

Ruth sang in Orkney's festival in June
A first, this, and an honour. All too soon
The days begin to shorten, and stay grey;
We extend the 'summer' with our holiday.

'Big' birthdays dominated latterly
And both events were marked appropriately
Mum Vera reached her 80th in September
And Adrian his 50th in November.

For Mum's, we took her off to France and Spain
(She'd said she wanted to go there again)
We saw friends, and my brother and his wife
In France, where they have found a lovely life.

Eventually we headed off for Spain
(And saw the rain, but nowhere near the plain)
To the hotel we raved about last year -
The Picos de Europa very near.

Mum spent her birthday in the mountains, where
To travel in a cable car she'd dare!
Then back at the hotel, I have to say
Champagne and birthday cake just made her day.

The drive through France and Spain was tiring - very,
So back from Spain we travelled on the ferry,
And stayed in the South West, the high point being
The Eden Project: it is well worth seeing.

Then Adrian was 50 - friends came round.
We had a lovely party, and I found
That there was loads of wine left at the end -
Is this old age, or just our generous friends??

And so another year is on its way -
A palindrome. I realised yesterday
That few TWO palindromes can ever know -
Once a millennium. On that note - I'll go!