(Move your mouse over the text to see the pictures.)

A year of change, with much time apart and not much chance of seeing friends. But we seem to have survived it well enough.

Jan was "resting" until early July. She was then offered an assignment as a temporary employee with the recruitment firm Harvey Nash. That went well and in September she joined the permanent staff. She works a mere four days a week, and spends her ample free time riding, shopping and baking cakes.

David was made redundant by Datacard (NatWest as was) at the end of February, along with a large number of colleagues. However, he and his five closest colleagues were immediately hired by NDS in Maidenhead. He has been weekly commuting ever since, staying mostly with Neil (three cats, no website) or with Joanna (one cat, one website).

Sir Pouncelot is in his prime. He still does not like strangers and squeaky music. He still brings mice home to play. He enjoys sunbathing in his impeccably-maintained garden. He is showing no signs of slimming down to a sensible weight. In this respect he is quite unlike Jan and David, both of whom now weigh substantially less when holding Sir Pouncelot than they used to weigh when not holding Sir Pouncelot.

Jan continues to ride as much as possible ...

... and take borrowed choc-dog Clove for walks.

David still makes dreadful noises on his clarinet. Or indeed his clarinets; he has just bought a fancy one in the vain hope that it will sound better than his perfectly adequate student model. Fortunately he has not worked out how to play them both at once.

For holidays:

We are expecting a very quiet Christmas, just the two of us and Sir P, but hoping to see various old friends shortly afterwards. January in contrast may be rather busy: if all goes well David's mother will be leaving her flat in Hammersmith after 44 years, to move to a retirement flat in Isleworth. Fingers crossed.

The only holiday we've planned for next year is a week's riding in Andalucia.. We're also hoping to spend some time in France, maybe in the Cévennes/Ardèche area.