|The Lonsdale Review 1997
From John and Noelene Gillatt
Despite the prediction in last year's Review that it "might not be Lonsdale much longer", we're still here. At the time of writing it looks as if we might have sold the home of "The Review" and be moving about half a mile away. But, as anyone who's bought or sold a house in England knows, there can be "many a slip betwixt cup and lip"
All Students Now
Dawn started it by enrolling on the Project 2000 Nursing course. She's about to start her final year and is going to specialise in paediatric community psychiatric nursing (she must be mad!). Next, Noelene gave up a promising career as an Office Temp and is doing a two year Foundation Course leading to a Degree in Art and Design at Bolton College. Then, Claire decided that she'd better get in on the act and is studying Maths and Drama (strange combination!). Finally, feeling left out, the Old Fart signed up for Basic (very basic!) German. Soon, like the late President Kennedy, I too will be able to say "Ich bin ein Berliner" - "I am a doughnut"!
Well, we may be moving from the green fields of Lonsdale but Claire and Dawn have both already moved this year. Dawn's moved into the Nurses Home at North Manchester General Hospital (we all know what they get up to in those places!) and Claire's sharing a house with Sarah in Halliwell, Bolton through the Bolton Young Person's Housing Scheme.
New Labour New Christmas!
We, at least, will be really celebrating as this will be the first Christmas under a Labour Government for almost 20 years. The friendship, camaraderie and, of course the result, made all the effort of the campaign worthwhile. Even more so because we were doing something that we believed in. And we had fun too! A few of the abiding memories from the campaign. Noelene in an Andy Pandy outfit almost being dragged away by helium balloons during a storm and Jack Straw prostrating before John dressed as Darth Vader. Then there were the celebration parties. Even now they're still going on! Look out for our MP, Ruth Kelly. She's a star for the future.
| She's 21
Claire was 21 in February. Here she is with her cake at our favorite Italian Restaurant in Manchester, The Pizzeria Italia!
"It's A Good Life", Says Noelene
Whoever said that students have it made - wild parties, late nights, beer bellies and bleary eyes can take it from me that 2 out of 4 ain't bad! I don't recall my original student days being quite this intensive, expensive or carrying quite as heavy a workload. No time to party this time round - maybe it's just that I'm 20 years older and a lot more determined. Whichever it is - despite the hard work and non-existent social life, I'm having a gas discovering what I'm capable of and learning something new an exciting every single day. To date I've done design, fine art printing, ceramics, still life drawing and landscapes, etc. If I was confused about what I wanted before I started, I'm even more so now, other than wanting my degree firmly clutched in my hands in 5 years! Fortunately, John's there to egg me on and take over the day to day running of the house. He's my inspiration, my slave driver and biggest fan!
There, Seen It, Done It - Next!
Linda got married in May so that was a good excuse for an unplanned trip to Malaysia - before the smog took over. After that we had a week on the small, almost deserted island of Redang, off the Malaysian east coast.
Then in October John was at the IBRG meeting in Newark and the US Coatings Show in Atlanta so we got to see some of the American countryside between New York and Savannah, Georgia via the Blue Ridge Mountains - along the Blue Ridge Parkway (didn't see the lonesome pine, though!).
But now that Noelene's a full time student there isn't the opportunity (or money!) for us to travel so much. John visits Germany with work one week per month so he's getting to know the town of Speyer very well. Maybe we'll have a trip there together in the Summer. Apart from that it'll probably be a case of "camping gear out and head for the Scottish border" next year!
Claire, Noelene and John at The 1997 Cambridge Folk Festival
If music's the food of love it must be good for the brain too. And this year our minds have been feeding on a rich diet of all sorts. First there was Vanessa Mae, complete with violin but without the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra! Later we saw Billy Bragg, our Socialist conscience, and the surprising new band Moodswings.
At this years Cambridge Folk Festival, the stars for us were the excellent Newfoundland Folk Rock band Great Big Sea, Yorkshire folk singer Kate Rusby and Jools Holland. The camping was good and the rain almost held off too.
In November folk singer June Tabor was in Bury (yes, Bury!) and just before Christmas we're off to see Jools again. All in all, not a bad year and in '98 there's The Stones at Murrayfield (Edinburgh) in June and the newly reformed Fleetwood Mac. Age will not diminish them.........................!!
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