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this page was last updated on 13 August 2014


this is the 'Latest News' I uploaded in 2006

Shirley, Deb & HayleyFor New Year's Eve 06 we went to Belinda's and saw 2007 in in style, with fireworks and much merriment - so no change there then!!
turkey & chips on Boxing DayFor Boxing Day, mom, Belinda & I went to Bev's for the now traditional turkey & chips. Games & stuff followed. My impression of Germain Greer will not feature here. Needless to say my team did not guess who I was ... !!
Christmas pud, my favourite ...For Christmas Day, I went to Belinda's for lunch having first been to Barrie's to pick up mom and see the kids. Excellent food for lunch, Queen's Speech [of course!!], film & sleep afterwards and then home! A good day.
at mom's on Christmas Eve 06On Christmas Eve we had the traditional 'family gathering' at mom's, where only James was missing of her grandchildren. Afterwards I went on to Paul & Deb's and from there on to the Midnight Communion service. For the family photos click here and for the photos at P&Ds' click here.
Viv & James visiting mom just before Christmas 06James could not make the Christmas Eve family get-together as he & Viv were elsewhere; so he came to see mom on Friday 22nd December and Bev, Amy & I also went along [it was the first time I'd met Viv].
my hand in plaster .....On Thursday 21st December I went into Corbett Hospital for surgery on my hand. Although it was done under general anesthetic I was still only regarded  as a day patient - so was home in the evening with my right hand in plaster, plus bandage and in a sling for 2 days! The plaster stays on for 2 weeks. It is very debilitating ... !!
mom & Bev, with Sarah Falkland - 9th December 06The Choir I'm in held its annual Christmas Concert on the evening of Saturday 9th December [and was the reason I had to come back from Edinburgh - see below]. Our guest for the evening was Sarah Falkland, of BBC Midlands Today, and the photo shows here with mom & Bev.
I had a fantastic 4 days in Edinburgh from 6th - 9th December meeting up with Ab, an Egyptian friend of mine who lives there, exploring aspects of the City not seen before. I stayed at Harbour Apartments, a new building in the heart of the redevelopment of the City's dockland. (Good value at the moment - soon to be v expensive.)
We had a 'gathering' at Paul & Deb's on Saturday 25th November - a good laugh & time was had by all. Left is the now obligatory group photo here
Casino RoyaleI saw 'Casino Royale' on Thursday 23rd November - very much in the Bourne Identity vein but well worth the viewing ..... !!
I went with friends to see the play "caught on the hop" performed by the Enville Street Dramatic Society, held in Stourbridge - Wednesday 22nd November.
me & Stephen with Sarah Falkland @ the BBC Midlands Today studioPhoto taken at the news desk of BBC Midlands Today on Tuesday 21st November, when Stephen Bradley & I visited there to meet with Sarah Falkland, one of the presenters, to discuss a forthcoming Concert she is to compere for us.
Deb, Peter, Judith & me - 18th November 06We had a good get-together on Saturday 18th November, first hot-tubbing and then a lovely meal washed down with plenty of wine & good humour!! More photos here
the choir, inside St Thomas's, StourbridgeOn Saturday 11th November I went with Judith & George to hear the Birmingham Bach Choir sing in St Thomas's church in Stourbridge. Then food & drink, of course!
Adam Weston's carThis is Adam Weston's car - he saw smoke coming from under the dashboard and got out to look under the bonnet. Before he could do anything the car erupted in flames - this picture taken on his mobile's camera. (Adam is my godson.)
I saw Puccini's La Boheme on Friday 10th November at the Birmingham Hippodrome. Although I know the music, it was the first time I'd seen the opera. The subtitles helped to realise what a moving story it is - almost a tear in my eye ... !
I went to the Birmingham Rep on Tuesday 7th November to see an excellent adaptation of 'To kill a Mockingbird' - it never seemed that interesting when I was doing my O Levels ... !!
taken from the 'Smethwick Road End' by mobile's camera - 31 Oct 06I went to the WBA v QPR game on Tuesday 31st October. At 2 nil up I thought we were cruising to a good 3 points. Unfortunately at a final score of 3:3 we've slipped down the table!
the annual 'OctFest' gathering - October 06On Friday 27th October was our now annual 'OctFest' where some former BB lads come and make me stay up late!! They used to take me to clubs in Birmingham but, thankfully, they all become domesticated and have mortgages that need looking after. At least they went earlier than last year @ 0355 . . . . albeit by only 5 minutes!! More photos here
Josh, birthday boy. Oct 06Josh [and Kate] came back from university for his birthday, and we all met up with him on the Sunday 22nd October.
Amy, my niece, on the right off for her Friday night out with her friendsI stayed at Bev's Friday night 20th October. Photo shows my niece Amy [right] on her way out for the night with friends. More photos here
The family moved in to 52 Hawne Lane in 1954. My sister Barbara bought it off mom & dad when they divorced. Ken moved out on 20th October; so it is with mixed emotions we see the house move out of family hands for the first time in 52 years!
Mäori SongsI went to hear Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at the Birmingham Symphony Hall on Tuesday 17th October. An excellent evening, as you'd expect with this performer!!
the 'gang'  [Lynton, Joy, Lynne, Ian & me] over the Malvern Hills - Saturday 14th Oct 06Lynne & Ian were up from Torquay for the weekend of 13th - 15th October 06. They [with Joy & Lynton] came for a meal at my house on the Friday; and then we all moved over to Hagley to stay there for the Saturday & Sunday. On the Saturday we went to Malvern for a good walk & then later on to Ledbury; on the Sunday we had a look round Webbs' garden centre, near Droitwich, after a good lunch out, of course!! To see more photos click here.
the poster for the play "PRAVDA"I went to see 'Pravda' at the Birmingham Rep on Wednesday 4th October 06. As the Guardian said of this play “A charismatic villain who dominates Ithe stage even when he is not on it. Roger Allam matches Anthony Hopkins in his original creation of this role...” Says it all, really!!
Katie the birthday girl herself[a keen footballer and who plays in a local Ladies' Team] has left home and gone off to the university of her choice, Loughborough, which is the premier sporting uni in the UK. Well done Kate!!
my cherry blossom tree - May 06At long last, the outside of my house has been repainted!! After being let down for the last couple of years, it's been done!! A (lovely?!) shade of blue - my West Brom colours!!!
PosterI went to the Birmingham Hippodrome on Friday 22nd September to see the Pirates of Penzance, my first experience of Gilbert & Sullivan!! It was great; both funny & some good music . . . .
Matthew - birthday boy @ 16 - 11 Sept 06My nephew, Matthew, was 16 on 11th September. As usual, the family  had a quick get-together on our way back from work, just to help him celebrate [though at 16, the last thing he wants is us 'oldies' being there I'm sure!! Tough!). I took this photo as he greeted me at the door  . . . .
Gill & Eric Collins receiving their awardsEric Collins has, this month, been a Methodist Local Preacher for 40 years  . . .  I can remember him coming to Short Cross church when I still went there. They held a special service for Eric & Gill on Sunday evening 10th September 06. As usual, I was running late so sat on the back row - hence this rather grainy photo. Gill also received an award for her contribution to the music-life of the church.
"Look who's Talking" in full flow - Alex is standing to the left of the stageJoy & I went on Wednesday 6th September to see Alex in the play put on by 'The Community Players' entitled "Look who's Talking" (a comedy by Derek Benfield) held at the Oakfield Centre. An excellent performance by Alex who played 'Andrew' - shown standing left on the stage in the photo.
the poster for the play "PRAVDA"I'm pretending to be sophisticated!! On Saturday 2nd September I went into Birmingham and booked tickets at the Hippodrome to see (1) Pirates of Penzance and (2) La Boheme. Then I went to the Reparatory Theatre and booked tickets for (3) Pravda and (4) To Kill a Mocking Bird, and rounded the spending spree off with tickets at the Symphony hall to hear (5) Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in Concert there. That's enough 'posh' for now me thinks!!
mom getting her cake  . . .  !!The family got together again on Sunday 27th August at Bev's for a meal for Mom's birthday - although we all me up with her on her actual birthday the day before, this was so we could all spend a little more time together. More photos [of course!!] can be seen here.
Paul, Ian & me - relaxing after a meal at my house 26 Aug 06I actually cooked a meal . . . !! Paul Bond, my former boss, and Ian Lacon came to me on the evening of Saturday 26 August. After starting on 2 strong Gs&T [Bombay gin @ 50%] we almost didn't make it to the table! But I was determined to kill their taste buds before starting on any food I've cooked!! More photos here.
mom's birthday family gathering 26 Aug 06It was mom's 84th birthday on Saturday 26 August, so the family 'gathered' in the afternoon to help her celebrate. More photos here.
outside the church where we went for morning serviceI went with Bev for a few days to visit Abigail in York (18th - 20th August). I took a few photos which can be seen here.
the birthday girl herselfKatie got her 'A' level results today, 17th August 06, and achieved 1xA and 2xB. Well done Katie, as this now means she qualifies to go to her first choice of university, Loughborough.

After the birthday meal for Adam [see directly below] I went on to stay just for one night in Llandanwg (which you may guess is in Wales!! It's near Harlech) leaving teatime on the Monday 14th August. I saw a lovely sunset on the deserted beach @ Llandanwg on the Sunday evening and then went for some lovely walks on the Monday. (In the village is the church of St Tanwg, a tiny 5th century church and which contains one of the oldest gravestones in the UK - of Ingenuus, who was a contemporary of St Patrick.) I ended up at a favourite place of mine, at Barmouth! More photos can be seen here

me with Abi - at Bev's on Sunday 13th August 06It was my nephew Adam's birthday meal at Bev's on Sunday 13th August. More photos of the 'family gathering' can be seen here
Rosemary & Roy's wedding - 12 Aug 06I went to the wedding & reception of Rosemary Hughes [who I used to work with] & Roy Faulkner [who I know from my BB days] - they got married Saturday 12th August. More photos here
I made my first phone call via Skype (free PC-PC calls) on Friday evening, 11th August, to Alex who's now back home in Brazil. Although he hasn't got his PC up & running yet [after his recent move to a flat in Sao Paulo] my 20 minute call to his landline cost just 37 pence - BT eat your heart out!!
the sign outside the Kopan MonasteryJodie has put some more photos of her time in Nepal & India up on her photos-website. This one is of the 'welcome' board outside the Kopan Monastery - great wording eh?!! To see more click here
Josh & Kerry - IstanbulJosh & Kerry spent 10 days in Istanbul recently and let me see a few photos - to see the others, click here.
Abigail & AlanAbigail & Alan have gone to Prague for a few days to celebrate the end of University and Alan gaining a 'first' in his Maths Degree.
one careful lady owner  . . . . Bev had an accident in her car on Wednesday 2nd August, while taking mom to a hospital appointment . . ! Thankfully no one was hurt. Belinda & I went to see what we could do to help; and never passing an opportunity to take a photo [not just for the insurance company - I was thinking more of this website!!] I took these on my mobile phone. So, to see more photos click here
we were re-living our youth with this pose!!

I went to Torquay with Joy & Lynton on Thursday 27th July until Sunday 30th July, staying with Lynne & Ian. We escaped the dreadful heat of the Midlands exchanging it with the moderated coastal temperatures - oh the joys of being able to sleep at night!! And, of course, the usual activities of eating, drinking, walking & more eating were interspersed with the usual high dosages of laughter!! Only shopping slipped off the agenda this weekend  . . .  it'll never catch on! To see more photos of the long weekend, click here

Bev, Ali & Abi - 24 June 06

It was Alexander's graduation from King's College on Monday 24th July 06 - held at the Barbican Centre. Mom, Belinda & I went with Bev & Abigail. It was a lovely ceremony, in fact the whole day worked out extremely well, and it was good to be able to share in the culmination of Ali's hard work . . .  To see more photos of the whole day, click here


At Bev's with 'our gang' on Friday 21st July 06. She's about to start hosting a series of 'buy your meals to raise money for Street Kids in Africa' and she experimented on us lot . . . !! The weather was splendid so we ate outside - and later we even got Belinda, Deb, Paul, George on the (kids'!!!!) trampoline . . . . now there was a sight to behold!! To see more photos click here


'Superman Returns' - Thursday 20 July 06 ..... I know I go to the cinema almost every week or so and don't mention them here, but Superman is one of those 'warm & cuddly' films from your youth [can I remember that far back?] and even though it lasted 2½ hours [I don't 'do' long films these days!] we all enjoyed the evening.

I had a lovely, soothing massage done on me today! [Thursday 20 July.) Some friends have been having them for years but I hadn't succumbed until today. Very relaxing!! Now, can I afford another one . . .  ?!
Beth, centre, as a skeleton - 18/7/06 - in her last school play @ Newfields

Beth leaves her Junior School @ Newfields next week to start at Windsor High after the summer break. I went to her school's end of term play/musical on Tuesday 18 July 06 in which she participated. More photos here

me & Judith - Saturday 15th July 06

a meal at Judith & George' - Saturday 15th July. The day had been bathed in sunshine, and the evening was just as good. After food, we lazed in the hot tub ...... bubbles are good!!! More photos here.

me with my bacon butties ......

I stayed overnight at Bev's on 12/13th July 06. The sun shone and bacon butties for breakfast al fresco on the morning was glorious [the orange juice was the healthy bit!!] ..... more photos here.


The Choir, VIH, held an 'open house' on Monday 10th July at Stephen & Hilary's - held to coincide with their 'Pearl Wedding' anniversary celebrations.


Jodie's photographs of her time in India & Nepal, together with photos taken during her sponsored walk along the base of the Himalayas, can be seen here


Joshua & Kerry have gone off on a week's holiday to Istanbul, Turkey! (7 July 06) The weather there at the moment is hot, hot, hot!!

Ali, in charity shop mode ..... summer 05. But now a 2/1 student ...!

Congratulations to Alexander who heard today, 5th July, that he's gained a 2/1 in his degree from King's College, London, in Bio-Chemistry.


I met up with Alex Evangelista again [see below] on 3 July in Birmingham - back here to shop for computer stuff & university text books . . . He's off to Germany soon before returning home to Brazil.


Mom, Bev & Amy and I met Belinda for lunch for her birthday - Sunday 2nd July 06.

Earlier I had taken mom to place a rose on where Joe's ashes had been scattered - he died 11 years ago today.

Yet another 'supporting England' party for the quarter finals on Saturday 1st July; this time combined with Belinda's birthday celebrations!! Unfortunately England lost [yet again to Portugal on penalties - do I not like Cristiano Ronaldo]. To see more photos click here
at Bev's, Friday 30 June 06 - taken by the postman!!I popped down to Bev's for coffee on 30 June - it was a lovely sunny day where we could sit out & soak up the sun . . . !! Luckily the postman came by, so he took the photo!!!
England's first 'knock-out' game in World Cup was held on Sunday 25th June @ 4pm v Ecuador. I had the gang here to watch & worry with me; we needn't have - we won 1-0 to go through to the quarter finals next Saturday. And we're at Belinda's birthday party so we'll be gathering to watch yet another game of football . . . To see more photos of today, click here
Nice ducks swimming by - who's that spoiling the view?? (Alex Evangelista - taking the canal walk towards the Mail Box 23/06/06)Alex Evangelista is visiting the UK & Germany for a few weeks visiting family - I showed him around Birmingham on 23 June. This photo was taken on the canal walk to the Mail Box. Alex studies at Sao Paulo university in Brazil.
Jodie in the Cayman Islands - 2005Jodie is back home [21 June] after her trip to India and Nepal, and where she walked the lower hills of the Himalayas [sponsored for the street kids & street animals of Katmandu]. She said one of the highlights of her visit was to be able to hear a speech given by the Dalai Lama. She's still deciding her next step - but a return to the Cayman Islands is not ruled out . . . !
The World Cup started on Friday 9th June and my TV's going to get hot with all the games I'm watching - June's cancelled!! England played its first game on 10th June amid much anticipation and national pride. Paul & Deb had a 'gathering' to watch our first game - to see photos of the afternoon [in glorious sunshine], click here
Congratulations to Josh who passed his driving test on Monday 5th June 06.
technology in action - 4 of us trying [not very well] to coordinate our bluetooth stuff . . . . !!Summer's come at last! We 'gathered' for a BBQ @ J&Gs' on Saturday 3rd June 06. To see some more photos click here
Katie, in 'car-driving practice' modeKatie is learning to drive. Seen here [with a qualified driver 'somewhere' I can assure you!]. Taken Wednesday 31st May.
I've just come back from 2 weeks in the heat & sun of Majorca, in a villa near Pollenca. I went with June, John & Peter but also met up with Joy & Lynton who were there for the same fortnight just a couple of miles away. While the UK suffered with heavy rain and cold we basked in the low 80s. I read 3 books and took plenty of photos. To see some click here
I went to a Concert of music by Mozart, Hayden & Schubert on Saturday 6th May. The soloist was  Elizabeth MacDonald (who was our soloist @ VIH Choir's St George's Day Concert on 23/4). The highlight of the evening was when she sang Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate which [perchance I was famous] would be one of my Desert Island Discs choices. If only, eh?
my cherry blossom tree - May 06My cherry tree in full blossom on Friday 5th May 06 - it's only as beautiful as this for 2 weeks of the year until high winds strip the colourful blossom away! A couple more photos here(Additional note: the blossom began falling off during heavy rain on 8th May. It didn't even last the 2 weeks ... !)
My belovéd West Bromwich Albion were relegated from the Premiership today - 29th April 06. Much wailing & gnashing of teeth. Black armbands for a week, me thinks! 
Jodie with some of the street kids of Katmandu, Nepal, for whom she's to do a sponsored walkThe curfew in Katmandu has finally been lifted and Jodie can get out of the hotel she's been stuck in for days. In a recent email she said "All is good here.. curfew has been lifted and it seems its good news for the Nepalese people (and us of course).. everyone is out partying and celebrating since the King gave the fight up so as at the mo, things back to normal... SO we can def go on our trek and should be leaving on Sunday for 21 days.. going to climb the Annapurna Circuit which goes to a max of 5,400 meters so its pretty high (not sure how the old legs will fair)... We are hoping there will not be too much snow and we wont be wading through like intrepid explorers!" Jodie is doing the climb as a sponsored event in aid of the street kids and street animals.
The results of my mother's attempt to embarrass me in later life!1

OOER. Another birthday - 24th April. I tried to celebrate as much as these old limbs of mine would allow

dad with Matthew

My dad would have been 90 today, 23rd April 06 - a Scot born on St George's Day ..... !! I spent time on Clent Hills where his ashes were scattered.


Our St George's Day Concert was held on Saturday 22nd April 06 at Holy Trinity Church, Wordsley. More details will follow, but in the meantime you can see a few of the 'after Concert party' photos at Pat & Adrian's here - it was Pat's birthday!!

St george's flag against the lovely background of the stained glass window @ Wordsley Holy Trinity church - 22nd April 06


so what planet do you think I was on when this was taken . . . !!?We held our final practice for our Choir's St George's Day concert on Friday 21st April - the day of the Queen's 80th birthday! This photo shows me looking somewhat 'vacant' but hey, why change the habit of a lifetime?! Shown here wearing my 'Scotland' top - well, with all the emphasis on my Englishness this weekend, with the Concert etc, I need to redress the balance to keep both parents happy! My dad never did get over the fact that as a Scot he was born on 23rd April - St George's Day . . . !!


A Nepalese Army armoured vehicle passes by protestors staging a sit-in protest rally on the 16th day of a general strike at Kalanki in Kathmandu

the BBC's website says "Mass protests continue in Nepal - The protesters are demanding an end to absolute rule Tens of thousands of protestors have returned to the streets in Nepal for mass protests, despite a shoot-to-kill curfew in the capital." My niece Jodie is caught up in the violence in Katmandu as has been 'stuck' in her hotel for the last week or so and not allowed out into the city. Part of her recent email to the family said "haven't been able to leave the hotel really in the last few days because of curfews every day/night.
Whilst the protesters, the police n the army battle in out we have to stay indoors and just read about the battles the next day in the papers. Seems the police are just as bad as the army who are just as bad as the security forces who just follow the King's orders (who nobody likes) and that's without even mentioning the Maoists. Its all crazy crazy at the mo and the papers are full of dead bodies and beatings and bombs and what not.. nice n tranquil this yoga trip eh! Well why we all sit in our ivory tower and sip tea and swim, it seems this anarchy will go on for quite some time longer..


Hottubbing in the rain .... !!We went to Judith & George's after our first day back to work after Easter! We needed cheering up; so food & wine seemed to fit the bill. We had a quick blast in the hot tub even though it was raining!! More photos here.



"Christ is Risen; He is risen indeed" - I went to the Short Cross Easter Sunday morning service on 16th April 06. Following that we went to Bev's for lunch as all her kids were back from University, and where we met Alan, Abigail's boyfriend, for the first time. At 4pm we went to a service by Bev's church, but held in the local leisure centre. More photos of the day can be seen here.

the family @ Bev's church's service in the local leisure centre


          our Simnel cake             
On G
ood Friday I've always [since my teenage days] taken mom to the early morning service at Short Cross Methodist church @ 0730; and then I go for the now traditional 'Easter Egg Hunt' at the Hierons' - something I've been doing since, seemingly, time immemorial ... !! For more photos click here


I went to Overend church to see/hear 'Pharaoh to Freedom' and act of worship for Maundy Thursday - 13 April 06. Belinda was the music MD for this.


Hilary & Sarah, the pianists of the 2 choirs joining together for a St George's Day Concert; also shown is Elizabeth MacDonald, a professional soprano who is helping us out with the singing on the 22/4 ... !!The choir I'm in is joining together with the Halesowen Choral Society and The Staffordshire Band to hold a St George's Day Concert on 22nd April. I took this photo on 11/4, and shows the professional singer, Elizabeth MacDonald, at a practice with the choirs' 2 pianists.


Joy & Lynton - after a splendid meal 8 Apr 06I went for a meal at Joy & Lynton's' on Saturday 8th April 06. As ever, a splendid meal and time was had. And due to the strength of their Plymouth Gin I needed to stay the night!!


George up a rather dodgy ladder ... !We're rather busy trying to get everything organised for our St George's Day Concert later on in April. This shows George & Stephen struggling to put up a poster advertising the event. As you'll notice I'm nowhere to be seen - rather, the camera man!! And the poster stayed up ... ! 


I'm still very much trying to get my family history sorted, but I just need the time to explore. To see the family tree I've managed so far, 31st March 06, click here. "Work in Progress" as they say ...... 


I took mom for a Musical Evening put on by the the 'Circuit Ladies' Choir' at Short Cross on Friday 31 March 06. My former boss, Paul Bond, played the piano for them.  


The 'old gang' met again - 2nd time this year!! - at Himley House on Wednesday 29th March 06. When we're together, we're not old. Just advancing in years together .... !! 


Ron, on the left, with two other court legal advisorsWe had a 'birthday bash' for Ron, one of the legal advisors at work, who was attaining the grand old age of 60. Over 30 of us went for the meal. More photos here


at Short Cross church on Mothering Sunday - 26 March 06For Mothering Sunday, Belinda & I went to Short Cross Methodist with mom; and then we were off to Beverly's for lunch. Hopefully mother enjoyed her day with the family!! More photos here


We gathered at Judith & George's for a 'party' for Judith's birthday, on Saturday 24th March. As ever, the conversation and the wine flowed!! More photos of the evening can be seen here 


It was Judith's birthday on the 23rd and a group of us went to The Stone Manor for a meal to her her celebrate on the Friday, 24th March. An excellent meal with good company. More photos here


On Thursday 23rd March I went into Birmingham to hear the Birmingham Opera Company's latest interpretation of Mozart's Don Giovanni which they entitled "he had it coming to him" ..... and which was unlike any opera I've been to. Staged in the former [grand] Birmingham Municipal Bank building at the end of Broad Street, the audience sat on coffins, were frequently moved about, had members of the chorus and the soloists sat round about us - if fact it was difficult at times to know who was who!! The Times gave it a 4 out of 5 stars in its first-night review - and i think it best if you read that here - all will then become clear (ish). They advertise themselves as "not what you'd expect from opera" ..... too right!!


On Saturday 18th March 06 I went to the 'Glasshouse Studio Theatre' in Stourbridge to listen to the Stream of Sound sing. They are a youth choir which sing acappella, and whose website says of them "we started with hymns of the early American settlers - known as shape note hymns - with their strong harmonies and fuging sections. From there we moved onto vibrant African church and folk songs. We discovered the haunting harmonies of Bulgarian and Eastern European traditions and then the excitement of the ancient three part songs from the Caucasian Republic of Georgia." They also now explore the pre-Victorian West Gallery hymns as well as the wealth of folk songs from these islands. 


I went to a Fairtrade wine tasting evening in Stourbridge on Friday 17th March, where we sampled 8 different types of wine. They seemed to get stronger during the evening!! My favourite was a Thandi cabernet sauvignon Merlot from South Africa which was an amazing 14%. (Available from the Co op @ £5.99 - advertising over.) To see the Fairtrade website click here


Mom went into hospital @ Russell Hall on Thursday 16th March for a minor operation on her foot. Luckily she went in early and there were no complications, so she was allowed home on the night. She's having to rest for a few days.


I went on Wednesday 15 March, with Judith & George, to see a play put on put on by the Stourbridge Theatre Company in Stourbridge Town Hall. It was entitled "a Murder is Announced"  by Agatha Christie and performed to their usual good standard. To see the Agatha Christie UK website click here


my nephew Alexander at a recent concert with his bandMy nephew, Alexander, has recently played at the Borderline, a London based club, with his band 'The Ten Colour Accord'. He's sent me this photograph of him there - to see a few more of him & the band click here. To see their revamped website click here


Pat Sanger, relaxing at a birthday bash for Nicki and Adrian - Saturday 4th March 06It was a joint birthday party for Nicki & Adrian, held on Belinda's on Saturday 4th March 05. More photos here. Picture left is of Pat Sanger


Ian Lacon & Paul Bond - a 'reunion' on Friday 3rd March 06I met up with Paul Bond [my former boss] and Ian Lacon who I know through our former BB days. It's been a while we we met up so it was good to sit & natter over food & wine. Friday 3rd March.


Jonathan Veira signing Joan Lucas' programme - at a Concert with him on Tuesday 28th February 06Jonathan Veira was doing "an audience with .... " on Tuesday 28th February 06. I went with friends to see his one man show. It was lovely to hear him sing and yet at the same time be thoroughly entertained with his humour and anecdotes. Have a look at his website here


Hilary Barratt in full flow during 'Rule Britannia'I went to yet another Sally Army Proms 'do' [am I becoming a Salvationist, I wonder?!] this time held at Dudley Town Hall on Saturday 25th Feb 06 - organised by the Cradley Heath SA. Hilary Barratt, pictured left, was the soloist and Sarah Falkland, of BBC Midlands Today, was the compere. Our flags had another airing .... !! More photos here.


Beth, in the green, and a few friends It was my niece Beth's 11th birthday on Saturday 25th Feb 06. The family, as ever, gathered - just what an 11 year old wants, me thinks!! She is though celebrating with her school & football friends on a bouncy castle @ Haden Hill on the Sunday!! More photos here. Whatever happened to jelly & blancmange?


My Aunty May was 96 on Sunday 19th February 06. we as a family went to visit and take presents & cards and i took the opportunity to fill in a few gaps with the Family Tree ... !! Between her and mom I managed to glean some useful names & details on the Tromans' side!! My Aunty puts her longevity down to eating a banana a day!


on the sea front at Lyme Regis - 12 Feb 06.  l-r is Lynton, Ian, Lynne, Joy & meI went to Torquay for the weekend of 10th - 12th Feb 06 with Joy & Lynton; we stayed with our life long friends Lynne & Ian. As usual, we had a great weekend of fun, laughter, with good food & drinks aplenty!!  We did much visiting, much walking and had much laughter in the process. An splendid weekend! You can see more photos here


at Bev's on 5/2/06. From l-r Adam, Belinda, Bev, Kay [my nephew's girfriend], Nicki & motherLunch at Bev's on Sunday 5th February 06. Adam & Kay were up for the weekend. Nicki gave us a lift down there - my first time in her new car! After lunch we watched the Six Nations Rugby game of Scotland v France: Scotland won 20-16, their first victory over them for 10 years. The Scottish genes in us came raging to the fore!


I went to a 'Proms Night' led by the Birmingham Salvation Army at their citadel in the city centre, Saturday 4th February 06. A good night of flag waving. We went back to Stephen & Hilary's for supper afterwards. More photos here


Judith & George have just got back from a cruise around the Caribbean, so it was a good excuse for a meal at their house to see their photos - eating and drinking copious amounts beforehand! Friday 3rd February 06. More photos here


Nicki has had a new car, or should I say 4x4. A rather splendid Subaru - well done, Nicki. I've rather taken to the heated leather seats. Oh I do like a touch of luxury!!


Jodie in the Cayman Islands - 2005My niece Jodie has been back from the Cayman Islands for a few months now, and on Thursday 26th January 06 left for a 5 month period in India. She's going there to train-up in a number of areas before she finally decides where she's off to next. "Home weary wander home" .... !


On Saturday 14th January 06, Belinda, Peter, Judith & I were with other members of the Midlands Symphony Choir singing in the Birmingham Symphony Hall for "West End & Broadway"  and Angela Rippon was the compere. The West End Stars were Claire Moore,
Simon Bowman, Rebecca Thornhill & Matt Rawle More photos here


On Wednesday 11th January the 'old gang' met up, for the first time over a year, at the Himley House pub nr Wolverhampton. From left-right are: Joy, me, Pat, Alex & Deb.


the birthday girl herselfMy niece Katie was 18 on Thursday 5th January 06. She held a party for friends & family the day later, 6th January, at the Royal British Legion hall in Halesowen. It was a great night with all the youngsters reminding us oldies of what it's like to have energy & vibrancy!! And they all seemed so polite too .... !! More photos of the evening can be seen here


to see my other 'Latest News' uploaded, click on the links below
2009 2008
2007 2005






photos of Bill McBain's family

e in the Mailbox.