It seems like yesterday but 30 years ago I was in the middle of writing Cry of the Earth, first performed in 1990.If you click on the image to the left a 1 minute video should appear and in light of the recent failure of the Madrid Climate Change Conference I thought I’d share it – I’ve probably imposed it on you before but it seems the situation is even worse than we thought so I thought I’d risk it again.
We have decided that 2019 is to be the year that we stop posting Christmas cards. We could cite loads of laudable and worthy reasons for this but the real reason is the we’ve run out of time! Anna will, however, be making a donation to charity equivalent to the money we shall save. Needless to say, the charity will not be the conservative party. I hope that this electronic missive will go some way to making up for the lack of an actual card.
Perhaps our biggest news is that Nia is about to start a career with Sussex Police as a PCSO. After everything that she has been through this is a remarkable achievement and we are absolutely thrilled for her. Her health has been gradually improving over the last couple of years and after a decade and a half of despair and darkness it seems she has finally turned the corner. Not that she doesn’t become easily stressed, mind you – but then again, look at her mother! Of all the pills, potions and treatments (including the utterly useless mindlessness) the single most beneficial therapy has been the devoted affection of the 3 rescue dogs we have adopted over the period of her illness.
This news must not, of course, detract from Tom’s achievements, who continues to enjoy life in the USA – I think he’s had 4 jobs this year including one which involved climbing to the top of those tall masts which carry satellite transmitters. I can’t tell you much about it because it was so scary to hear about that I stopped listening.
Since then he has worked in water treatment (mercifully on the fresh water side of the operation but nevertheless giving an opportunity for much humour of the brown variety). He has recently started a new post as an Environmental Inspector for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, which seems to be going well. It’s a pity that he and Sarah are so far away but we manage to Skype most weekends and discuss the political situation both here and there from the perspective of actually being residents.
Anna’s health is much the same although a minimum wait of 6 weeks for a GP appointment means that she has to ignore most of her symptoms. She insists that no Christmas letter is complete without mention of a holiday so I am obliged to mention our trip to Valencia in late September. We’d never been to Spain before having thought it was all about ex-pat Brits, full English breakfasts and Costa del Brexit but it was lovely and we enjoyed it very much. There – done it! I’ll be sending pictures of kittens next! We haven’t done much new this year. I continue to chair the local branch of the Labour Party and the Hailsham Festival as well as running music workshops around the country – but I was doing all that last year.
Next year I’m writing a new musical for the festival called String and the first performance of my complete Requiem will take place in Leiden on May 30th (if you click on the image you’ll be able to see and hear more about it). We are currently in a state of shock and disbelief at the apparent wish of so many to administer national collective self harm. I don’t know which is worse – our departure from the EU or 5 years of de Pfeffel Johnson but we are certain to be diminished as a nation, inequality will increase yet more and the poor will get poorer. But hey – we have to spare a thought for the millionaires as they struggle to find places to deposit their spare cash, which can’t be easy. We are both deeply worried about the future and the loss of the compassionate society of which we were, until recently, proud to be a part.
We have been moved by these words from from the website of the organisation who will be performing the Requiem in the Netherlands (thanks to google translate):
The theme for the new project 2020 ‘England, My England’ has been chosen for several reasons. England has been in the news almost daily in the last two years because of the Brexit. We regret that just over half the population of England has made this choice in the Netherlands, but England remains our ally, the English are and remain our friends.
With our very best wishes for a Happy Christmas and New Year.
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