Christmas letters from Ruth & Adrian Sharville

Sharville Christmas Newspoem 2015

I'm late this season starting on my writing
To capture in pentameters our year.
But as right now there's nothing much exciting
To do, may inspiration now appear!

It's been a year of festivals and madness,
Of lovely scenic walks and great days out,
Photography and cricket, and some sadness,
Which first of all I'll tell you all about.

In May we said farewell to our dear cat,
Our lovely Flash, whose life came to its end
She had a great life, there's no doubting that,
And was to us and Mum a much loved friend.

We said we'd get another cat on ending
Our holiday on Marco Polo, yes,
The same ship we loved last year. (I'm amending
This poem as we're sailing past Sheerness.)

Our first weekend away in Portsmouth saw us,
Just one of places seen both far and wide.
An urge to try a hovercraft came o'er us,
Meaning we both bought a ticket to Ryde -

The Isle of Wight, you understand; a short hop
Aboard said hovercraft, and it was fun.
And so was Portsmouth, and indeed our next stop,
The Cornish town of Newquay - in the sun!

The Breton city, Vannes, is just a gem,
Old shops and houses, and a special treat,
The Ile d'Arz - for peace, the creme-de-la-creme,
Where lizards bask in balmy springtime heat.

Throughout the spring much music we enjoyed,
Composers we both love, played live - tremendous.
And also one we've tended to avoid -
That's Wagner. "Mastersingers" was stupendous.

A blast from Ruth's past from the seventies,
Renaissance, played in Frome. And what a show!
Lead singer Annie still can reach with ease
The same high notes as forty years ago.

Then it was Folk Awards with Radio 2,
A great time out in Cardiff, in full sun -
A taster of the summer we were due?
'Twas not to be. But the Awards were fun.

May turned out bittersweet. We had just been
To Ludlow for a great English Songfest
But sadness followed: Flash, aged seventeen,
Died peacefully at Mum's. She was the best.

More festivals were features of our year.
Music and cricket Cheltenham would host
On the same days - but different times. As we're
Such fans of both, of this we made the most!

Ruth met a hero, Eric Whitacre,
And promised him she'll run a choir again.
He gave some sound, helpful advice to her,
And left her on cloud nine - or even ten?

In Chepstow Castle we saw Bellowhead
And Shakespeare's "Much Ado" - both well- supported.
Then the triennial "Southwell Sing". That said
Ruth's vocal problems still have not been sorted.

The garden has been mixed. The runner beans
Had leaves but so few pods we had to buy them.
The sweet corn didn't ripen, and the greens
Got hammered by whoever came to try them!

Courgettes and raspberries were fine, at least,
So all was not completely lost. We've planted
"Christmas" potatoes. Ready for the feast?
We'll have to see. We won't take it for granted!

A sparrowhawk called by one morning. We
Could see her clearly, there in broad daylight.
We grabbed the cameras, and, as you can see
(If you're on-line) she was an awesome sight!

We've three more highlights we must share with you.
Live music, great performances of flair
Took place in Hyde Park, held by Radio 2,
'Twas very good. We know, 'cause we were there!

And then a treat, as Gloucester got to Lord's
To play the One-Day final versus Surrey.
We went as underdogs. Our vocal cords
Were needed. We lost wickets in a hurry.

But somehow all the noise we made paid off,
And Gloucester won - a genuine sensation!
And so much cider we managed to quaff
That Lord's ran out, causing great consternation.

So then the Marco Polo took us sailing
To ports of Europe for our holiday.
We loved it, and relaxed in sunshine, failing
To think of work at all. Job done - hooray!

We've booked to visit Iceland for next year,
With waterfalls and great volcanic splendour.
And going home we'll call at somewhere dear
To us, yes, Lerwick is on the agenda!

Ruth's brother, Richard, shortly will have flown
Off to Hong Kong - a real adventure that.
Mum's 94 - she still lives on her own.
And us? we need to find ourselves a cat!

So all that's left to do is wish you, friends,
Good health, and that good things may come your way.
A merry Christmas, and, as this year ends,
May the New Year bring happiness each day.