Since the USA dream trip last year plus all the mountaineering trip 2010 was a busy one but the start of 2011 brought a different beginning with Louise being made redundant from Jacob's Bakery which resulted in a significant drop in income for us, the best part of a 3rd which did hurt at first but then the accounts were looked at it was easy to see where some of the money was going unnecessarily going so it was a case of tighten up the belts and be cautious.
An easy task for me as I am Mr Cautious. Probably too much for some people.
Typical of Louise, she was able to keep herself busy and like most men it was easy to say your not working now so you have plenty of time on your hands. Finding a job for me after redundancy was easy as I have lots of options but for Louise and the kids to contend finding one with hours to suit was very difficult. So with this in mind a change in career was decided from Accountancy to Teaching Assistant involving attending a course which is currently on going. Mrs Organised as usual finds a way to make it happen, so here's to 2012, who knows what it will bring for us all.
As for me, well another year has passed working for Santander and they have been putting me through various courses to become qualified as a Data Centre Manager, the final set are in the new year. Data Centres is big business these days. In the past I was used to warehouses with broom cupboards for a computer room scattered across the country, now I deal with computer rooms the size of warehouses. Its great but can be quite a challenge with the Spanish and their micro management style approach. It is very demanding and if an english approach could be embraced more, I feel it would be good for the bank.
Well this year I turned 40 but for me it is just a number, the important thing was to celebrate it with 2 agenda's, the ones I love and the great outdoors. So I organised a camping weekend and it turned out to be exactly as I imagined it would be. Cycle rides, bbq's camping, I think there may have been some drink too. But most of all, time to actually enjoy the company.
This year was also an education, the family holiday, finance were a bit tight so nothing abroard was planned, instead it was a trip to Butlins Minehead instead. My last experience was Clackton when I was just a child so I did have my reservation. My concerns did not last very long as the evening entertainment, lots of comfort food and plenty to keep the kids occupied were welcomed. As they say, if the kids can be kept busy and out of mischief, well then that is a break for parents too.
A contender for Baywatch perhaps?!
Louise and Leonie having a go at Kyacking
Anybody remember Hawaii Five O?
Whilst we were there we met an amazing family who we got on really well with. Addresses etc were exchanged but as usual the busy lives of us all always seem to get the better. But we still try and keep in touch and perhaps a new years resolution is to make more of an effort to meet friends and family in person. Lets try hey?
Amarally's with Myn, Jo & Annie-May.
I enjoyed Butlins that much we even made it back for the Autumn half term break. Now that's dedication. But whilst we were there and thanks to Facebook we found out that Kirsty, our niece only blooming works there. Have not seen her in so long, but now all grown up and gorgeous as ever. So proud of you standing on your own two feed and working a honest living.
Me with our niece Kirsty.
As always the outdoors was an adventure but the lads camp was a bit of a disaster this year. The calanders just clashed all over the place, but it was good to see the pics from Andy and Rich on their Scotland adventure in the Autumn. Shame they had all the rain whilst the rest of the country had that fluke heatwave.
As for me well, I did my very first outdoor lead along with Joshua and 2 HMC buddies Mike and Dave. This was at Cleeve Hill and Castle Rock near Tewkesbury. On the forum various climber friends was discussing the goals for climbs to be achieved by the end of the 2011. For me with the busy family calendar my goal was to do my first ever lead in my life. Dave our HMC Chair was quick to pick up on this and so one day in August the scene was set.
Routes as follows:
Beginners Chimney (DIFF) - Lead
Right Crack (V Diff *) - Seconded
Both routes Joshua also seconded and well done to him. These routes were difficult as the rock was very crumbly and as Dave's says required a cool head. It was was quite an interesting as Mike first led this to show me how but when I got to it, some had crumbled away so I led it differently. A great conquest, I don't anybody will ever forget their first lead climb. I know I wont.
Me negoiating the route on my first lead.
Summit complete, goal achieved.
Move over Bear Grylls, here comes action man.
Joshua in his element.
December this year saw another attempt with Joshua along with Mark and Morgan trying to find snow but it was to be a shortfall as the weekend was very mild to say the least. Previous two trips were very wet so clearly winter is the best time to enjoy the great outdoors. What is our climate coming to.
Whilst on the trip to Malham - North Yorkshire, we all booked a trip to go caving at Longchurn which was a first for Joshua and myself. This was very enjoyable but a challenge for my build especially the cheese press section which called that for nothing.
Brilliant experience with great company.
Well Christmas has now been and gone, and 2012 is now here.
It has been a great year with my family and friends but for 2012 who knows what is ahead of us. I look forward to enjoying time will all of you, take care and I hope and wish you all the very best for this year.
Love - Colin, Louise, Joshua and Leonie.