Christmas letters from Ruth & Adrian Sharville

Sharville Christmas NewsPoem 2021

I’m so late starting this – I don’t know why.
And where’s this last year gone?  It’s seemed to fly
Despite how Covid 19’s clipped our wings
Reducing concerts, trips and such like things.

Not much is there to say till Spring, as we
Relied on Tesco for delivery
Of basic needs, until our first injection
In February offered some protection.

In April we our second jabs received –
I have to say we both felt so relieved.
We started booking days out - one of these
Was Tyntesfield, where the gardens always please.

The cricket season started, but without us, 
No crowds allowed while Covid still about us.
But that would change, as will be demonstrated.
Meanwhile, we got the loft re-insulated.

The chaos reigned supreme – stuff needed shifting,
Involving ladders and some heavy lifting,
And, most of all, the need to find some space
For all of it.  There was no hiding place!

It gave us a great chance to have a clear-out,
Though as I write we both are nowhere near out
Of the proverbial woods, but getting there;
Recall we met at a collectors’ fair…

In May we gladly got down to South Devon,
(For both of us a little bit of heaven)
Saw family, had days out, made the most
Of freedom to enjoy the moors and coast.

Our first live cricket was a Test Match.  All
Four days of it at Bristol; every ball.
The England Women’s team with India drew,
It was a good, absorbing match all through.

Tenby and Caldey Island were a pleasure,
The island, new to us, a perfect treasure.
I had swim – although the cold surprised!
We both went home refreshed and energised.

It gave me joy with old friends to be singing
The services in Southwell Minster. Bringing
To me a huge relief that my ability
Was still there, after several years’ fragility.

That happened in July, and then straight after,
We went to Liverpool. We had much laughter 
With dear friend Sue and dogs Dougie and Bert,
The latter happiest in mud and dirt!

And at Stanley, St Anne's, I sang again. 
They also played a piece I’d written, when
The parish had a major celebration.
Forty years on, I felt some trepidation.

But I need not have worried.  It was played
With gusto, and was well received.  I made
A promise to myself I’ll write some more
For organ, and St Anne's Choir, that’s for sure.

A short trip to West Wales – New Quay – was bliss.
We joined our neighbours dolphin watching.  This,
Along with a sea-swim in gorgeous sun
Made it a visit full of joy and fun.

Our health has not been bad this year.  We’ve coped
With lockdowns, testing, masks.  But we had hoped
We’d make it to New Zealand for next Spring –
We now know we’ll be doing no such thing…

I (Ruth) have medication that is new 
I’m fitter now – a change long overdue.
But Adrian remains in pain.  The knee 
Has never really healed up properly.

Our cricket in September made us smile
As Gloucestershire's best season for a while 
Meant happy days in sunshine with our friends,
And lots of lovely shots with my zoom lens!

During one match we had a great surprise –
The air ambulance came down from the skies
And landed, to assist someone who needed
Help in a nearby house.  (And they succeeded.)

We went to West Wales for our holiday 
Freshwater East was where we chose to stay. 
And Pembroke, Picton Gardens, and the sea
With one last beach, suited us perfectly.

Autumnal days out gave us walks with trees
And woods and lakes and sculptures.  Some of these
I’m hoping will inspire me to create
Things which our outdoor space will decorate.

Meanwhile, indoors the chaos reigns supreme.
We’re having work done in the house.  Our dream?
Fresh kitchen, new appliances, less stress,
Better design, less chance to make a mess!

For Adrian's “big” birthday (Seven-O)
We saw Tim Peake.  His brilliant, one-man show
Was all about his time on the Space Station.
And he's a natural at presentation!

December needs its pretty lights and gladness
To help drive out all thoughts of gloom or sadness.
We so enjoyed Bute Park's illumination,
And hope to see Birmingham's decorations.

Covid’s still here.  Of that we are aware,
But life goes on.  We make sure we take care,
And hope that you do too.  Our love to all
This Christmastide, whatever may befall.