Evans Christmas Letter 2014

Hey there!

We considered doing one of those “climbed Everest and cured cancer” Christmas letters, but we couldn’t even face doing it as a joke! Instead we’ll just go for some photos and maybe a few things you didn’t know about, mostly trawled from our photos.

Also I imagine a lot of people will want to see our photo of the Angel of Christmas from last year – bringing good news, and great joy to all (yes, that’s a skirt she’s wearing as a dress – that’s a conversation we’ll be having again in less than 10 years, I’m sure):
I bring a message of great joy

So, what happened?

Well, it’s quite a list:


On New Year’s Day, just as we were about to step out the door… Matthew was in our bedroom and felt a drip of water on his head. Moments later there was a pretty steady stream of water coming through the ceiling – fortunately in a corner where we could easily position a bucket. Through the month we had lots of different builders come and look at our house… and the basic conclusion was, it leaked, in a lot of places!

We also had the flickr comedy moment of the year (peaking so early, I know) with this photo:

…which caused all sorts of concerns from people who thought we were in hospital and Anna had uploaded a photo… see if you can guess where it is without clicking on it and scrolling down to see the comments, where Anna explains where it was, and why it got uploaded!


We had a fabulous time in Rotterdam, visiting Matthew’s former colleagues at HP – we were so blessed to be able to stay with the lovely Michael, Jackie and Joseph (who is just a bit younger than Lizzie) and they looked after us very well indeed – and we think Jackie was a bit soft on Lizzie!

Joseph, Jackie and Lizzie at Rotterdam zoo:

Making friends with the locals
Anna and Lizzie in the aquarium in Rotterdam Zoo:
under da sea

After a fairly adventurous ride in a water taxi:
Highlights of Rotterdam-the taxi boat


Ten Years. TEN YEARS. TEEEEEEN YEARS. That’s right, we reached our tenth wedding anniversary in March, and we both made cards for each other on the theme of tin (which is the traditional material for the 10th anniversary) – Anna’s was an actual tin, tin.


Lizzie’s birthday party was a princesses & knights party, so we had a dragon piñata, and the food was served on vintage plates with squash in vintage teacups!


We got a telly – not the one below (that’s a 4k, 3D one) but we succumbed to the draw of being able to watch live sport – so we were able to watch F1 and Wimbledon without having to wait for it to appear on BBC iPlayer!
First 3D experience

We also had Nano’s first ever trip to London – mostly just seeing the sights, but we managed to go in a car, train, taxi, bus, tube and water-bus all in one trip… she was VERY tired by the end, but it was a fabulous time.

Nano went to London
Transport number 4-hailing an iconic black cab over to Covent Garden
Back on the train (with a seat in rush hour courtesy of first class) after a long day.


This was a month of teacups – we launched the TEA website and Anna got her business cards going, which has continued to gain business throughout the year. If you don’t already know about it, head over to the website for a look!


So after several visits from different builders to do structural things to the house to stop it leaking (roof, chimney, lintel) we had the rendering re-done – which involved a lot of scaffolding being round the house for a couple of weeks, but July also involved Lizzie’s trip of the year – to the Royal London Hospital, to visit her hero – Dr Gareth Davies – who is one of the senior consultants who runs London’s Air Ambulance. She’d seen him first in a programme on Children’s BBC, but had subsequently seen him in other stuff and my dad happened to know him – so we managed to get ourselves the backstage tour!
The money shot-the helicopter and the hero Dr Gareth Davies
…Anna’s mum joined us as well, and although she wasn’t convinced about the idea of being 17 floors above London without any visible means of protection from falling (there was, it just wasn’t visible) we all had a fabulous time.


Actually partly in July as well as August, Matthew had a fortnight off on holiday – the first time he’d taken more than a week in one go since Lizzie was born – it was relaxing (started with a week at home just doing jobs), and we spent a week in Cornwall and for 3 days of that week we spent a lot of time on the beach – with Lizzie enjoying learning to bodyboard!
A day on the beach including a bit of body boarding

We also had Lizzie’s cousin (my brother’s daughter) come for Lizzie’s (and her cousin’s) first ever sleepover – I took them to the park the next morning, and they couldn’t resist peeking in on Grandma & Grandpa’s flat which is just nearby…
Spying on grandma


Lizzie started year 1 – which was a bit of a shock to her system, she remarked in the 2nd week “it’s no fun any more, it’s all just WRITING” – which isn’t quite true, but it’s definitely a step-change in the amount of work she has to do… although it does mean her reading and writing have come on apace.


October brought the Riverford Pumpkin Festival and Nano got herself a pumpkin plant painted up her arm (her idea, not something generally on offer!).
Pumpkin tastic! ' Face' painting at Riverfords Upper Norton farm pumpkin festible
Anna also rather enjoyed getting the Riverford Recipe Box – where they send you the ingredients and the recipes for a set of meals – so we had haute cuisine! (this one you can click to scroll through the pictures to see the 3 meals we ended up with).


Matthew has started leaving work early on a Monday so he can pick Lizzie up from school and spend the afternoon with her – it means they get to spend some quality time together on a weekday, as otherwise it’s just breakfast and bedtime (sometimes he’s late for that too) with him working so many hours at the office.

Lizzie’s also clearly ready for Christmas, as we put her to bed as normal, and then found her like this later that night:

I checked in on Nano as I always do. Christmas is coming!


We’re looking forward to a 2nd Christmas in our house, and Matthew having some time off over Christmas for the first in four years! Writing this letter in November (oh so organised!) means there’s not yet a lot else to say… perhaps we’ll update it.

We’ve moved!

Don’t forget, we’ve moved – our new address is 14 Bassett Crescent East, Southampton, SO16 7PB.