A Year in Just 10 Paragraphs!

Bricks 'n Sticks Hitched Here We Are Again?
Art for Art's Sake And Then One Day Keep Moving
On The Up? It's Only Rock 'n Roll Our (Almost) Top 10
Heading West

Bricks 'n Sticks

The House BeforeAnd After!We started the year with the intention of decorating the living room and have ended up in a major rebuild of the house. Well, life’s too short for half measures. As I write we’re confined to the new penthouse suite, i.e. the attic, as the rest of the house gets finished off!

Sad old blogger that I am, you can read all about the ups and down of a minor house redecoration at http://234thave.blogspot.com, complete with about 80 photos!

Art for Art's Sake?

Noelene's Work At The Bolton FestivalLast year we celebrated Noelene’s 1st class BA (I only got an ordinary degree, you know!) and her art career has been gradually taking off. Not in a financial way, of course!

But, she now has a studio, the start of a website (http://noelenegillatt.org), has exhibited her work at venues as far apart as Wrexham and Saddleworth, created an “intervention” at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and is frantically planning a “last minute” exhibition in Bolton over the Christmas period.

On The Up?

There's Always Next YearAs seems to be a tradition now, John stood in the local elections again this year and polled 1,600, taking votes off both the Tories and Lib-Dems. However he was comfortably far away from winning and will therefore have another go next year.

We’re very firmly of the view that Blair (intentionally or not) lied to us over the Iraq war and that on issues such as asylum seekers our government is simply kowtowing to the right-wing press and the lowest common denominator in British society.

We’ve both become active in the antiracism movement via Bolton Against Racism and support other community based organisations such as Fairtrade. John’s also been running a campaign to stop the local streets being used as a rat run (http://www.johng.dial.pipex.com/ratrun).

I think we’re becoming frightfully middle class!

Heading West

The Gang Of Four Conspire!In May the Gillatt clan, plus some, headed down to Cornwall for a gathering and holiday and great fun it was too. We spent a week together in some wonderful weather and hardly a drop of blood was spilled! Plenty of drops of the other stuff were consumed, though!

Very sadly, we went to Cornwall later in the year when our nephew Matty died in very tragic circumstances. He was a lovely guy and we all miss him so much.

The two visits couldn’t have been more different.


Jan and Bryn Just Do It!In July Jan (formerly know as sister Janet) and Bryn took the plunge and got hitched on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year. In place of the bride’s father, John was allowed to make a speech and very restrained he was too.

Dawn and Jon tie the knot next summer in the Lake District and because of his good behaviour the real father of the bride is to be allowed to have his say again! (I’ll behave myself honest!)

And Then One Day.....

Unusually Sophisticated....you find, 10 years have gone behind, you!

Unbelievable it seems but us two lovebirds celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this year and we had planned to hold a big party. But with scaffolding around the house and the roof being removed it just didn’t seem like the best time to hold one.

So we sneaked off to a rather nice place in the Lake District for a wonderful gourmet night (yum, yum!) and sexy sleep in! Hang on a minute, less of that, we are (well one of us is) British after all! And to prove we’ve still got style, above is a photo of us at Harrogate a couple of weeks ago. What about that hat!!

It's Only Rock 'n Roll.....

Get Yer Ya Yas Out!!.....but we like it! We haven’t seen a lot of live music this year but the quality more than made up for the quantity. In May, together with Dawn, Jon and Aki (who thought the concert to be f*****g brilliant!) we saw the wonderfully theatrical Peter Gabriel at the MEN Arena and on a superbly hot August Sunday we saw the Stones live at Twickenham.

Mick and the guys may have had to be wheeled on with Zimmer frames but it was the most superb Stones concert I’ve seen and if it’s their last ever tour they’ve certainly gone out on a high note. If it’s not, then we’ll be back.

Age shall not weary them!

Here We Are Again?

It's A Long Way Down!Rather rashly John signed up for the “final” Garstang Running Club Ballycotton 10 trip next March, even though a dodgy knee and lack of commitment has meant he hasn’t run very much at all this year.

With passing years the thought of moving rather more slowly has its attractions and although there haven’t been any “proper” walks (maybe the Southern Upland Way next year) the call to the hills has just been too hard to resist and he did the walk he’d wanted to do for many a year, the rather scary Striding Edge to the top of Helvellyn. And well worth the effort it was too (on a day when it was 30oC!)

Keep Moving

UluruThor continues to send John all over the place, mostly to Germany, but this year he managed to “do” Australia and New Zealand in a week, which was, to say the least, a bit hectic and no time to see anything much, apart from Kev’s goats and this rather splendid view of Uluru (Ayers Rock) from the air.

And Finally - Our Top 10 9 of 2003

Play: “Montagues and Capulets” at Rochdale, starring Alex
Book: “Coastliners” by Joanne Harris (I’ll finish reading it soon, honest!)
Exhibition: “Earth & Fire Festival” at Rufford
Performance: The Stones at Twickenham
Place Visited: Ullswater
Home Restaurant: Goughies "Coverdale Bistro" (of course)
Outside Restaurant: The Old Church, Ullswater
Event: Bolton Festival
Party: The Coverdale Ave. charabanc trip to Tatton Park