Friday, 28 October 2011

Christmas Greetings from the Abbotts - 2009

This year we are going environmentally friendly. The money that we would have spent is going to Christian Aid to buy a couple of goats for the "Goat Bank" in Burundi (see the attached word document) . This gives a goat to a farmer who then passes on one of its kids to help another farmer and so on so its the gift that keeps on giving!!

Its been an amazing year for us. We let our house in Newbury from September and moved lock , stock and barrel over to Bandon in Ireland. We are living with Annabelle's parents temporarily as the house that we are going to rent, which belongs to A's aunt Jen, is being renovated. This has been major reconstruction, but we now have floors upstairs and down, a new roof and windows. We hope to move across the field to it in the spring. In the mean time it is working out very well sharing Paul and Frin ' s house. Most of our furniture is in their large garage , or dotted about their house.

We have been going to three churches and will continue to mix and match for a while as they all seem wonderful. We may settle on the Baptist Church most weeks as the children's groups are fab, as is the music and teaching. We have been so welcomed to all the churches and have made good friends in each.

We came on a wing and a prayer as Gary had no job to come to and our prayers have been answered and he got a temporary contract working for a computer solutions company called P.F.H. Technology Group ( ) about 45 mins away in Cork . This has just been made permanent-HOORAY!! As Jen put
it ,we came over and Gary got the only job in Ireland! He is playing crib with a friend most Tuesdays in the pub. When he gets the chance he has been watching the rugby too-supporting Munster and Wales. he plays 5 aside football some Thursdays too.

Annabelle has been doing a bit of supply work for a Montessori school. She really enjoys it and is starting to get to grips with the names and the spellings (eg: Caoimhe- is pronounced Queeva!) She goes along to a ladies walking group with Matix on a Wednesday .They go for a brisk hours walk from different peoples houses and then coffee, scones and cake. She swims twice a week , once with the children and once alone, which she combines with a Tescos shop to justify the hours round trip.

Jenny is so happy at school, she immediately joined in with a group of 4 other girls ,who are lovely.She has been to a sleepover already and speaks with an Irish accent when with them; however there is not a hint of it at home. Jenny has some catching up to do in Irish lessons but she is learning fast. She has learned how to jump in riding. She has joined the Brownies
and been for a day in the woods with them. Her piano has really improved,she is aiming for grade 2 in the summer. She has done a concert for all of the residents at Jen's hospital and is playing "Walking in the Air" and "The Combat Man" in the school play.

Edward also loves school -particularly his teacher. His reading is excellent and he is doing really well in his Irish lessons apparently he is doing as well as children who have done it for a year already. He has joined Bandon Rugby Club and they have won all their matches this term. He is loving being truly immersed in nature (almost literally sometimes).

Matix loves being part of a pack with Paul & Frin's boxer-Tisa and Springer-Poley. He loves the freedom of the estate and has discovered the joys of eating crabs and mermaids purses on the beach.He finds the pigs fascinating but can no longer bait the goat as it sadly died in September (he was very old)-hence the Goat Bank gift,it seems appropriate.

Bandon had the worst floods on record in November. 187 businesses were affected. Many had over 4 feet of water in and a few had 7 feet! It has been amazing to see the community spirit in the town People have been so generous with their time and money. Nearly all of the shops and banks are open again and we had a wonderful belated Christmas light switching on ceremony with a snow machine!! If you want to see some pictures etc of the floods follow this link:

We are looking forward to our 1st Christmas living in Ireland ,we hope you have a wonderful, happy, peaceful, fun Christmas

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