|John & Noelene Gillatt, 23 Fourth Avenue, Heaton, Bolton, Lancs UK, BL1 4LU|
Download the print version (PDF) of the 2006 Fourth Estate from here.
2006 In A Sentence
This year Claire and Carl got wed, John went for a walk and didnt got lost, we (almost) finished the work on our house, Jon and Dawn worked on their handicaps golf, that is!, Noelene continued to tussle with her MA as her business slowly developed and we saw a lot of flowers . !
About Time Too!
After almost seven years together Claire and Carl finally tied the knot. Having had the hottest and sunniest July on record they got married in August with several centimetres of Bolton Sunshine (alternately horizontal and vertical). Despite the reception being in our back garden, under cover perilously close to leaking, spirits werent dampened by the weather, the father of the bride made the usual idiot of himself and great fun was had by one and all. Even the air guitars didnt get soggy and the bride made a pretty picture in her trainers!
Then off they went for three weeks in Mauritius to enjoy the sun, sea and beauty before the start of their long and happy lives together. More at http://www.gillatt.org/clairewedding!
Getting It Done
Well, sort of! Claire and Carls wedding forced us to (almost) finish the reconstruction of our house, started over three years ago and stalled for some time. So our holiday consisted of spending the hottest month of the year, working most days from 8:00 am until midnight.
The last paintbrush was put down at 3:00 am on the day before the wedding.
Back To The Jungle.....
Almost a year to the day, John returned to Fraser Hill in Malaysia where he spent five days cheap B&B (er, actually without bed or breakfast) last year.
This time he walked with a guide, two compasses, handheld GPS, ball of string, mobile phone and a huge rucksack doing the same walk but without the directional misfunction (its not allowed to say that he got lost) of 12 months ago. En route he found out where hed gone wrong (simply blundering straight on when he should have turned left!).
|Well Equipped||The Fool On The Hill||Back Safely!|
Five hours after starting he and Durai arrived back at the Old Smokehouse Hotel, safe and sound.
Where've Yer Been?
Well, in a word or two, not very far. But both of our best trips this year were to London
Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Gone to the Chelsea Flower Show every one ..
Fulfilling one of Noelenes long-held dreams by dragging John along (actually, he rather enjoyed it!). The highlights for us were the Antipodean Gardens, particularly the South African township garden - especially lovely, evocative and our favourite of the show (no bias, honest!).
We spent two nights in the capital, did lots of the normal tourist things which we so often dont make time for, but which can be very enjoyable nonetheless, and had a fantastic N. African meal - complete with a rather skinny belly dancer! There was even some good London beer (yes, there is such a thing!).
Where Have All The Old Socialists Gone?
Gone to Cable Street every one (in October, at least!).
They and a lot of younger ones went to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the turning back of Moseleys fascists at the famous battle, re-enacted on the street itself. We spoke to some, older even than us, who had taken part in the 1936 protest and very emotional and uplifting their stories were too. We heard music, poetry, watched dancing and even socialist magic! And dont forget, as Billy Bragg sang:
.. join the struggle while you may The revolution is just a tee-shirt away
Johns still supporting the German economy with his monthly beer and wine runs, with portions of fois gras, paella and Danish herrings thrown in as he flits around Europe. In March he travelled to Malaysia, China (for the first time), Australia and New Zealand; the latter for all of three days. Mind you, although he travelled for work, his luggage took a fancy to a rather longer holiday in Malaysia, as those around him at the time will attest!
With everything else thats been going on in our lives we havent had a lot of time for live music this year.
Early on we saw Billy Braggs hard hitting Hope Not Hate, anti-BNP show at the Bridgewater Hall.
We ventured into unknown musical territory with Mostly Autumn at Bury in October. Disappointingly, their recorded sound didnt translate into a good live performance, although John at least is willing to give them another chance!
Unusually, The Levellers were also well below par when we saw them in early December, so much so that we actually walked out less than half way through, seeking solace in a bowl of pasta at Pizzeria Italia!
All in all 2006 hasnt been the best live musical year. Never mind, weve already booked to see the Genesis at Old Trafford next July - the start, we hope, of what will be a year filled with good sounds.
But, where the musicians let us down, the actors lifted us and we saw excellent performances of Millers A View From The Bridge and Dario Fos wonderful Accidental Death of an Anarchist , both at Boltons Octagon Theatre.
Cheering For The Team
In March Noelene bowed to the inevitable, finally becoming nationalised and is now as British as St. George (hes half English too!).
Naturally, she kept her fingers crossed and lips tightly sealed when she was supposed to swear allegiance to the Queen at the nationalisation ceremony! Gawd bless er!
However, you can take the woman out of Africa but you cant take Africa out of the woman. It wasnt long before she was smiling smugly as England beat S. Africa at rugby and even more so the following week as they took their revenge.
Its not easy to sum up a whole year on just one web page and a lot of other things have happened to us in the last twelve month, thankfully almost all of them good!
Noelene continues to tussle with her MA in Public Art but the end is now in sight. Commissions continue to dribble in, although not all of them are as well paid as they should be! At least shes starting to put her actions where her heart is with the refugee and asylum seekers communities and disadvantaged young people. And John stood (and came a great second) in the local elections yet again!
If you like our photos you can see lots more of them at: http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/gaijin1234. You never know, you might just spot yourself in one or two of them!
A very special thanks for all the good things that have happened to us this year and especially to our friends and families for their love throughout the year.
A very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to all our Readers