Matthew & Anna’s 2007 Christmas Letter

Hey there!

Mr & Mrs Niddler

Moo christmas cards!
Now you may be a bit miffed that a tiny piece of card is all you’ve got to show for your Christmassy greetings
from Matthew & Anna, but if you factor in the trees that have been saved and the extra ‘cool’ that the little
moo‘ card provides, then hopefully you’ll find you’re not so hard done by!

We thought it might be nice this year to give out a Christmas letter (like real grown-ups do) but being of the internet
generation (and Matthew still just about remembering how to write web pages after leaving the Constabulary)
we figured we’d hug a tree and make an internet based one!

If you’ve been keeping up with us on our flickr account this year, there may not be many surprises for you, as we’ll
be using this letter as an opportunity for a shameless plug of the great photos we’ve got there (prints available on request!).

Births, Deaths & Marriages

Niddler & Ben
This heading should really read “Births, Marriages, even more births and more marriages”!
None of the above (we hasten to add) were ours! We did have two birthdays of note – Anna’s mum’s 60th and Anna’s nan‘s 95th birthday both in May.


It’s probably easier to list the people we know who HAVEN’T had a baby this year, as there’s been so many (at last
count it was around fifteen!), but we started the year with our good friend Ben on 3rd January and
will (we assume!) end the year with the birth of our newest nephew (whom Matthew has nicknamed ‘Goliath’ to match with his
older brother David) who’s due to arrive on 21st December.


Rest In Peace - Morris the Hedgehog
We’ve been blessed to go a year without losing any people close to us, however we did have a bereavement back in May –
Morris the hedgehog who’d been living in the hedgehog box in
our garden for some time and particularly Anna had become attached to (read the photo description for more details).


Mrs Niddler giving Mr Niddler some lovin'
We rather like going to weddings, especially when it’s people we know and love (and of course an excuse to get
dressed up in our posh frocks and what not). We’ve also been asked to take photos at most of the ones we’ve been to
which is fun but very hard work!

  • Steve & Elaine in April – our first wedding of the year and a great excuse to have a long weekend in Ireland!
  • Dan & Catherine in August – our first full photography ‘commission’ with us working separately to get the most wedding coverage, nerve-wracking but worth it!
  • Nick & Sarah in September – our only wedding this year in which we didn’t HAVE to take photos – but of course, we can’t resist!
  • Ingemar & Claire in November – amazingly good weather and an idyllic setting in Wales made the last wedding of the year a really special event

What we did on our holidays

In an otherwise pretty packed year, we’ve done rather well for holidays – both in terms of weeks off and weekends away.

Things started out for 2007 in an unexpected way – Matthew was shipped out to Bridgewater, New Jersey
at very short notice for a work assignment. He spent 6 weeks there (and at times got very bored – so ended up
taking photos of all sorts of things!).
Chatting on the phone was made difficult by the time zones combined with long working hours so to compensate for the
inconvenience, the company paid for Anna to fly out so we could have a long weekend in New Jersey & New York!

Our summer holiday this year
was in almost the same place as the previous year in
Cornwall! This time it was in a cottage on the outskirts of Rock and we had lots of fun in the cottage’s pool,
and visited the Eden Project again
to see how they’re getting on.

Mrs Niddler + Niddlermobile + Caravan When the schools went back in September, we headed down to Dorset
to stay in a non-moving (but theoretically mobile) caravan we had borrowed from our neighbours. It was situated nicely
between Abbotsbury and Weymouth in a really quiet little caravan park, and the weather was still really rather nice.
It was a great time of relaxation for us – and we not only managed to go to Lulworth cove
with some friends but also visited monkey world
with Loz and Ben AND still had time to go back to the tank museum.

It was really nice to be in a place with no television (although we did have Matthew’s work laptop for the occasional DVD!),
no internet and no hassle. We found ourselves properly relaxed by the time we got back.

Crafty creations

Beanbag Doorstops
This year has been a busy time for Anna and her friends with them making crafts for TWO
craft sales (a summer and a winter one) in aid of C.A.P., with Matthew adding his own creative touch
in selling framed prints of his (and Anna’s) photographs, and photographing the crafts to go on the internet.

The crafts ranged from doorstops (left) to bookmarks, and even “Tomtes” (a kind of Scandinavian elf with a cool hat).

Both sales managed to raise several hundred pounds for CAP by also charging a token amount for coffee & cake,
and were generally very well received, with both events generating more work in ‘commissions’ (which we REALLY hope to
finish before Christmas!).

Work stuff

Basics Bank
Not a lot has changed since this time last year in terms of our jobs – Anna’s still working for SCRATCH at the Basics Bank
and Matthew has been at EDS SOLCORP for just over a year.

Anna’s enjoyed an incredibly successful harvest festival – coordinating and doing a lot of the leg-work in sorting
the vast amounts of food that is donated in a few short weeks – managing to finish it before the end of October in
stark contrast to the previous year where it wasn’t finished before Christmas! Her job-share is planning to retire
at the end of the year, Anna’s sad to see her go but is grateful to be welcoming her back as a volunteer, and is
looking forward to meeting her new job share in the next couple of weeks.

Matthew has spent an unexpected amount of time in Southampton due to spending a lot of time consulting for his old employer… Skandia!
He finds it strange working for his old company on different terms, however it is nice to be working with old
friends (and some new ones!) and it’s nice and local! He’s looking forward to working with a variety of clients in a variety of locations
next year – they’ve spent the entire year threatening to send him to Japan for a few weeks, but nothing has materialised
along those lines yet, India is also a possible destination – both places that are scary (for different reasons!) for the
inexperienced traveller, but Matthew’s looking forward to gaining some experience the hard way!

How do you end a Christmas letter?

Well, that’s us pretty much done – not much more to tell, we are looking forward to a break at Christmas,
and will hopefully catch up with as many people as possible before plunging into 2008!

Lots of love,

Matthew & Anna