Hi again. Here is our end-of-year report.
Let's Go To Work
Both Alex and I started new jobs this year and work was really important to us. Alex has grown out of the corporate chrysalis of her last firm to become a high street law firm butterfly. She is a defender of lost causes and teenagers of dubious virtue. She is turning into a formidable advocate.
I, on the other hand, gave up paid work this year to volunteer at the church we belong to. This gap/transition year has lead to me being offered the role of assistant minister in the new year and I start to get paid. I too love my job, it's flexible hours, it's range of challenges from the ivory towers of ancient greek to the not-so-ivory-towers of getting in between two 10 year old best friends who want to remove each other's heads from their necks. Highlights for me this year included 'Great Balls of Fire', our community world cup programme which saw over 100 people watch the England games and me sing in Swedish.
Our Eritrean Friends
One of the biggest priviledges of the year has been getting to know the Eritrean community that comes to our church. Basically, Pentecostal Christianity is banned in Eritrea and if you are caught meeting or worshipping, you risk harassment, imprisonment or worse. Anyhow, the Home Office have decided to re-locate pentecostal Eritrean asylum seekers in Plymouth, so they come to our church. We love them. They are such nice people and their food is great too. I get to be a witness for them in court and we help them have a safe place to live.
We had big plans for DIY improvements to our house this year. We got our study sorted in February, put a few plants in the garden and promptly didn't do anything else all year. Partly funding, partly because we didn't get around to it. We've lived a whole year without a functioning bath or shower. Report says 'must do better in 2007'.
On Our Travels
We decided to stay in the country this year for our holidays, and so had lovely weeks in St Ives and Sheffield. St Ives was a real highlight of the year. We love it there. Great beach. Dramatic scenery. Good food and galleries. For a tiny town, it has so much. It was also good to be back in Sheffield. Only the second time we've been back together since we left. Everything felt familiar and lovely this time.
Life in Plymouth
Plymouth is changing a lot. The city centre is being transformed by the new shopping centre, which in the end, was very nice and not an eyesore. There are lots of plans to grow Plymouth and so it will continue to be an interesting place to be. Our big Plymouth discovery of the year was the Plymouth Raiders basketball team. They're fun and are now winning too.
2007 - End of the plan?
Looking to next year, it's exciting for us because we don't really know what's going to happen. We made a plan when we got married about how we were going to get settled and we've hit just about everything on that plan this year. Rather than just come up with a new plan, we reckon it's a chance to live with a bit more freedom, take some of the scaffolding down and take life as it comes. We're still going to work hard and do what we do, but that's because that is what comes naturally to us.
Anyway. Enough of this. Do email us if you really want to know any more. We hope that everyone is well and wish anyone who reads this a lovely christmas and a great 2007.