Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Hello Everyone,

Below you'll find the 2010 news for each of us in the family. In addition other highlights included our family holiday which was split into two parts. First we had a week staying in a friend's caravan at Bassenthwaite in the Northern Lakes where we greatly enjoyed the countryside and we had a few good mountain days (see my Every Trail trips). We then had a week staying at Mike's Mum's near Southampton which included a trip to London for a tour around The Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

Finally we'd like to wish you all the best for 2011.

Bethany's Chalk Drawing on her Christmas Card she bought home from school

Holly's Year 2010

Holly has had a very hectic but fun filled year that has been dominated by the Centenary Year of Guiding. Centenary events she's taken part in have included a Pack Trip to London (including knocking the door of number 10), The National Centenary Camp at Harwood House and the Vision event where at 20:10 on 20/10 in 2010 Guides throughout the world renewed their promise, the North Yorkshire event was at Newby Hall.

Holly (left) and another Brownie from her pack, they got there before David Cameron!
In addition to her Brownie life Holly is also a cub with the 16th Harrogate, and has got up to all the same activities as Bethany there. She also keeps up with her dance and appeared in the show but isn't quite as keen as Beth.

Holly is now in her second year of Junior School and is progressing well.

Bethany's Year 2010

Beth has also taken part in all the Centenary Guiding activities alongside Holly initially as a Brownie. Her extra bit is that at Fusion (centenary camp at Harwood House) she took her Guide promise and moved sections to Guides.

Both girls have also been active cub members. Events this year have included camping at Kielder Water with many water and land based activities, local weekend camps including bivvying out and a train 'sleepover' where a train full of cubs spent the night going end to end on The East Lancashire Steam Railway. Her cub career has just come to an end with a Christmas show as from January she'll be a scout.

Bethany Crate Stacking at the cub's Walesby Camp in September

Bethany's main sport is dancing with her still pursuing ballet, tap and modern jazz. Her dance school put on a show on 14th Feb in Harrogate's Royal Hall called Love to Dance. She managed to appear in 4 different costumes.

Now in her last year at primary school we anticipate that Bethany will be going to the same high school as Ryan. She has just finished the autumn term being the Charity Collector in A Christmas Carol. In November she took part in the school year 6 'outward bound' style trip to a place called Water Park on the banks of Lake Coniston where she had a go at sailing, canoeing, ghyll scrambling, orienteering and fell walking.

Ryan's Year 2010

Ryan's first love is swimming, no matter what else is happening very little prevents him from getting to his 6 training sessions a week, including the 3 that start around 5am! Problem is he still likes mum or dad to drive him there! He's a member of Harrogate District Swimming Club and is swimming for himself and the club at several galas a year around the region with the odd club trip away to places like Hereford for competitions.

Between swimming sessions Ryan manages to fit in school. He's now in his second year (Year 8) at Rossett High School and is loving the 'more grown up' school life. Despite all the miles in the pool his school work is progressing well with a definite bias towards maths and science, no surprise there. We were pleased that Rossett achieved an outstanding OFSTED inspection during July.

In the little bit of time left Ryan is an active member of the Scout Troop and in addition to the weekly meetings he's taken part in several camps, hikes and expedition challenges. The Scouts also had a week camp on the banks of Kielder Water when he got chance to sail, make rafts, kayak, hike, bivvy and mountain bike.

Ryan (right hand end) on the Summit of Buckden Pike with the scouts in July

Mike's Year 2010

Like much of the private sector, work over the past 12 months has been a case of keeping the business running. I continue as the Technical Manager at Icon Electronics with responsibility for the technical customer interface of the contract electronic manufacture business we run in addition to being the internal technical authority. In a recent round of redundancies my colleague was unfortunately affected which means that I've now taken on responsibility for the quality management system and health & safety. This means that my days are spent deciding who to disappoint with not having sufficient time to do it all.

Outside of work my Scouting career continues and I've now moved into 'uniform' having changed roles from group chairman to group scout leader (GSL) of the 16th Harrogate. As GSL is responsible for the delivery and leadership of the scouting programme in all 3 sections (beavers, cubs & scouts) which is a more hands on role to that of group chairman where I was responsible for the provision of meeting place and equipment to allow the leaders to deliver the programme. I'm enjoying the role and the work with the children immensely.

As part of my scouting development I've also trained for, been assessed and award my Terrain 1 Hill Walking Qualification which allows me to take a party of scouts on the hill up to 800m or 3 hours away from 'help'. The syllabus for this course is equivalent to the MLTA Walking Group Leader award I've now started to work towards my Terrain 2 award which is moving towards a full ML qualification which may become a long term goal. I've had quite a bit of opportunity to use this permit whilst hillwalking with the scouts including a mountaineering weekend in The Lakes at the end of November which included sleeping in a bothy alongside Ashness Bridge, a very enjoyable weekend.

My other interest continues to be radio but the only time I get to exercise my callsign is as group controller of Nidderdale RAYNET. We still provide radio communication for several local prestigious community events such as the Rotary Nidderdale Walk and the Knaresborough Bed Race. I also enjoy when I get to combine RAYNET and Hillwalking which this year I managed to do again by covering a remote checkpoint for the LDWA Blubberhouses Challenge.

Karen's Year 2010

In terms of work Karen continues to work 20hours a week as a community pharmacist at a local Lloyds Pharmacy Store. This equates to Tuesday, Friday and every other Saturday morning. The hours and location are extremely convenient for the vast variety of family activities that the kids undertake, much of the taxi-ing falling to Karen. That list again: swimming, brownies, guides, cubs, scouts, swimming, ballet, tap, modern, swimming, drama club, sewing club, oh and did I mention swimming?

Another project was that Karen finally got opportunity to put into practice some of her skills learnt on a garden design course to make a start on updating/tidying the back garden. This included a new patio area built by ourselves and planting new apple and cherry trees.

During the year we said farewell to Karen's very reliable but 15 year old VW Polo that finally became uneconomic to run. This has now been replaced by an '07 Renault Scenic (yes we've gone French!) but being diesel it drinks less fuel for all those taxi runs.