Christmas letters from Ruth & Adrian Sharville

Sharville Christmas NewsPoem 2019

So, where to start my nineteenth annual rhyme?
I guess where I left off last year is good.
As Adrian was having to find time
To exercise his new knee, as he should.

And we were contemplating should we sell
Or keep Mum Vera's house? Ah well, we chose
To sell it. You'll soon learn that all went well,
And helped to bring this period to a close.

The New Year saw much culture in our lives,
From Sandi Toksvig, Roddy Williams' singing,
To opera, folk, Burne-Jones, and "Strictly" jives
All brightness to the winter season bringing.

In March there was the Cardiff Flower Show,
I joined the RHS, and I completed
The greenhouse I'd acquired, so I can grow
Some more exotic plants though it's not heated.

Throughout the spring we went down to South Brent
For clearing out Mum's house, and thus to face
Leaving it all for ever, for this meant
No more in Devon would we have a base.

The good news was a family member bought it,
A great result for everyone involved.
But as for our own house we've got to sort it!
It needs it. There are problems to be solved.

As summer came we had more fun days out
Chihuly's glass at Kew, and cricket too
Of course. More on that soon. But my next shout
Is for our friends in Shetland and for Sue!

We had a lovely holiday. We started
In Liverpool, with Sue from Uni days.
It was as if we never had been parted
The proof we're mates for ever and always.

We caught up with some other friends there, some
I hadn't seen for decades. It was good
Remembering times that we shared. You come
To realise just what matters most or should!

We drove up to the Borders, to more friends,
For catching up, and wine, the usual craic.
Then Shetland such a welcome aye extends
Our home from home always good to be back.

We stayed in Scatness, on the southern tip
Of Shetland, our dear friends there spoilt us rotten.
We saw sun, puffins, beaches; had a trip
To lots more much loved friends never forgotten.

The homeward leg was not as we'd expected,
For we'd been wrongly booked. We had to go
On the freight boat. But we were not neglected -
The food was free and excellent although

The space was limited, and cabin small.
But we got back OK, and headed off
To Glasgow, which was our next port of call
To attend the AGM of Geograph.

For Ruth is a Director and Trustee
Of this. It's for photographers to post
Their photos to a map - and it is free
To use the photos just credit the host.

A charity we are, and education
Is high priority what we're about.
So if you want to make your own donation
Of photos or of money check us out!

We had a happy day when nephew Tom
Got married to his Georgie girl at last.
He played his bridegroom role with much aplomb.
The day was great we really had a blast!

A World Cup warm-up, and the Women's Ashes
With the KSL Final down in Hove,
Plus Gloucestershire's promotion, gave us flashes
Of the best cricket which you know we love!

Ruth and her friend Christine enjoyed a bash
At Wickham Festival feast for the ears!
Gnoss and Jon Jones impressed, and Graham Nash
And Judy Collins both defied their years.

And the Proclaimers still proclaim in Scots
Distinctive, energetic factor wow!
Elsewhere more of the stuff we both love lots -
The Proms, June Tabor, and BBC NoW.

Ruth's garden produce has been nothing less
Than absolutely fabulous. The plums
Were copious, the cherries ripe and yes,
Shared with our lovely blackbirds, and their chums.

And then were the tomatoes. What a crop!
(Thanks to the greenhouse) and there was much more:
Courgettes, beans, raspberries and just to top
It all, potatoes, from last year we're sure

As Ruth did not plant them this year. So these
An added bonus were, and they were lush,
And bountiful as well! We got to freeze
Some raspberries and beans; though they'll be mush

It's still so good to have some out of season,
Remembering the lovely summer days.
And next year the greenhouse will give Ruth reason
To grow more varied things in different ways.

And so to sadder thoughts. Back in September
We went to Lynmouth with Ruth's mother's ashes
To scatter in a place we'll all remember,
Where winds blow strong, mists loom and strong rain lashes...

Except the day we went. The sun shone brightly
Over the Foreland and on Lynmouth Bay.
The air was clear, the wind blew only lightly,
Now in the place she loved she'll always stay.

And on that note, it's time for me to go.
And "Merry Christmas!" is my curtain-call.
We may not meet up often, but we know
As years go by, togetherness is all.