Christmas letters from Ruth & Adrian Sharville

Sharville Christmas Newspoem 2002

And so, dear friends, the time has come, I fear
To look back over yet another year.
And is it just that I am in my prime,
Or has the speed increased of passing time?

This year one story dominates our news,
About decisions made and paths to choose
To make the most of all life has to give.
And so we chose a different place to live.

We knew we did not want to stay for ever
In Shetland's lovely islands; we had never
Discounted any option in the past.
An offer came. Minds to be made up fast.

I took a job in Bristol. I desired
Fresh challenges - of benefits I'd tired!
A new job in the Press Office seemed fine
For my communications skills to shine.

I went ahead of Adrian, who stayed
In Shetland till the house was sold. We made
Some money on the sale, but even so
To first-time-buyer land we had to go.

So where to live? Well, Bristol priced us out,
And even more so Bath and roundabout.
So to South Wales we thought we'd set our sight -
The lovely town of Chepstow seemed just right.

And here we are, a short walk from the shops
And places serving liquid made with hops...
A longer walk could find us at the races,
The Wye, the Severn and such lovely places.

To Shetland I returned for just a while
To see friends, and sing music in Fair Isle.
I'll not forget this trip, for I took part
In music-making of the highest art.

This year Shetland has had a glorious summer;
(I caught the end, we missed most - what a bummer!)
The sun shone, and the weather was not cold -
The best they've had for decades, I was told.

Goodbyes this time were harder than in may,
To go back I have not yet set a day.
I miss my dearest friends, they all remain
So special - and we will meet up again.

The cats have settled well in their new home.
We're by a park, and trees where they can roam.
(A novelty for Flash, a Shetland cat,
As is the warmth - but no complaints at that!)

Jet's health is not quite what it used to be;
Like me, she's on her daily HRT.
But though she's seventeen, her life is good;
She likes the garden, and still loves her food!

And Adrian a new career has found,
As carer for young adults with profound
Disablement in learning. Since he started
He knows the work is not for the faint-hearted!

But as the work attracts such dreadful pay
And he is driving 40 miles each day,
He's looking for something that's not too far,
Where he's not so dependant on the car.

I go to work by bus - or two at present;
The first part of the journey's very pleasant
Across the Severn Bridge - an open space
Reminding me of a beloved place...

The second bus I have to take from town -
A journey which already gets me down.
They promised months ago a relocation
To premises much nearer the bus station.

But that's on hold. Meanwhile we're settling in
And meeting folk; in doing so we begin
To find the music, art, and friendly smiles
In this most lovely part of Britain's Isles.

We have three bedrooms, not that you would guess;
The house looks just-moved-in, and is a mess!
But we would love to see you one and all -
Invite yourselves, we shall await your call!