Christmas letters from Ruth & Adrian Sharville

Sharville Christmas NewsPoem 2017

I'm on the beach. It's time to contemplate
Events and highlights of the year soon gone.
Life's changed for both of us - I shall relate
In lines that follow what's been going on.

First Adrian retired back in November,
Though still he puts in odd shifts here and there.
And then I (Ruth) stopped working in December
To give Mum Vera full support and care.

So now we find ourselves much more in Devon
Than in South Wales - though we make sure we go
As often as we can back 'cross the Severn
To tend the jungle garden in Chesptow!

Our cultural life seems to determine when
And where we go when we are not with Vera.
And blessed are we that friends, time and again,
Are keen to help, and make sure someone's near her.

We've been to concerts, exhibitions, shows,
And seen and heard the best in all the Arts.
We've been to places where in spring it snows,
And where the sun has browned most body parts!

And so I'll take a quick look through the year.
My uncle's funeral was the first thing
At Countisbury's tiny church. It's here
Mum's family's graves are, where the skylarks sing.

We had a trip to Cornwall, seeing friends,
And our first visit to the beach this year.
The sea's power to enrich, I find, extends
Beyond just what I touch, or see, or hear.

I had a major birthday yes, an O
But three score years is far more than I feel...
Some of my oldest friends from long ago
Joined new ones, with me, for a lovely meal.

We went to London (from our home address)
To see the Paul Nash artworks exhibition.
It's easy on the National Express
To do a day trip for a special mission.

Then back in London, we were so excited
To tour round London Transport's old HQ;
And to the very top we were invited
To feast our eyes on a fantastic view!

One more trip - to the Proms, the Albert Hall,
With diva Renée Fleming the attraction.
She triumphed. She's to me the best of all,
And to the Prommers there, from their reaction!

We saw her in "Der Rosenkavalier"
Transmitted to the cinema - but still
Enjoyed it almost as if we were there
To see it live - it really was a thrill!

We've seen the Magic Flute, live, and projected,
And hope to catch more operas this way.
And local chamber music reconnected
Me with my "God-sister" - a happy day.

The great National Orchestra of Wales
Entice us to go home regularly.
Their standard of performance never fails
To move and thrill us how lucky are we?

The Wickham Festival's ace for folk fans;
The Friday line-up was the biggest sell.
We saw the Spooky Men, and Show of Hands,
Seth Lakeman and the great Kathryn Tickell.

Our holidays this year have both been cruising.
We only planned on one - but as you'll see,
Another came our way; you try refusing
A cruise with David Gower, if you're me!

First to the port of Rotterdam, from where
We took a trip to see the glorious sight
Of fields and beds of flowering bulbs - you stare
In awe at swathes of jewel-colours bright.

Then on to Norway's Fjords - spring had begun,
But only just, and all looked wintry still.
But then a treat - as Bergen in the sun
And snow gave glorious views from up the hill

Where the cliff railway went. My video
Is posted on You Tube for all to share.
I hope it's not the last time that we go
To Norway's gorgeous landscape and clear air.

Between the cruises was the cricket season;
A little different from the usual fare,
The Women's World Cup being the main reason -
And what a treat. I know, 'cause I was there -

Though sadly not at Lord's. (But this last match
Had both of us enthralled on TMS).
And poised with camera, I was thrilled to catch
Some wickets hope you're suitably impressed!

We saw some summer fireworks by the sea -
The championships in Plymouth, something Mum
Had long expressed an interest in. And we
Enjoyed them very much so glad we'd come.

We made the most of Devon days. While there
We walked the moors and rock-pooled by the sea.
I swam, we beachcombed, took Mum for some air,
And ice cream and a change of scenery.

A local paper tempted us to take
A trip to Roscoff, and some time together.
We loved the Ile de Batz, and we shall make
Another trip there but in better weather.

So then our Autumn cruise to lovely places
On board MV "Magellan"- just the ticket!
A trip including some familiar faces
That I recall from Test and County Cricket.

We went to Amsterdam, Antwerp and Brussels,
And cruised along the lovely River Seine.
We took a train to Fécamp, and ate mussels,
Saw Deauville, Cormeilles, and Rouen (again).

The cricketers were great it was a pleasure
To meet and speak with them, and hear their tales.
We made some memories that we will treasure.
And cruising for a break? It never fails!

Mum's garden birds have kept us on our toes
They eat and waste more food than any gannet!
But many young were raised which surely shows
We're doing something right to help the planet!

So it's goodbye to twenty seventeen.
A mixed year in so many ways, I know
But let's all take the good that we have seen
Into the coming year, so love can grow.

So now we wish each one, our lovely friends
And family, a joyful Christmastide
And all you wish yourself, as this year ends.
And more than this, may all in peace abide.