The How Family Web Pages

 

Previous Years Calendars  (We haven't yet done 2016)

 Family News :

This year at Le Petit Saint Jean the garden and house have kept us busy. We have also had lots of visitors, including of course the boys and their families. The hot tub in the garden has also been a great hit – "the hot tub with the best view in the world". Very soothing for John’s torn shoulder!! Our grapes go to the cooperative for a Luberon Rosé Fruité, and in November we picked 200kgs of olives, pressing 40 litres of high quality Saint Jean olive oil.

The children have enjoyed playing in the garden, and in the pool in summer.

In May I managed a trip to the UK. I spent a week with Martin, Molly, Charlie & Jess in their new rented house in Shipham (Mendips) and then a week with Rog, Cat & Rolo in Bristol. It was lovely to see how the children are flourishing and to join in with their daily routines.

John’s contract at ITER ended in October and hasn’t been renewed by the new cost-cutting director. In November though he was asked to interview candidates for European Commission grants so we spent a week in Munich. I hadn’t visited for years, so it was great to catch up with old friends and to do a bit of sight-seeing while John was working. Also since January John has been on medication to correct some inflammation of the brain membrane which has led to headaches and some impact on vision and hearing, so he is not sorry to be slowing down, but finds it difficult to take things more slowly than before. The medication seems to show some improvement but it requires an annual check to follow it up.

  Olive crop – 200kg !!  
Rolo Chalie Jessica
 
Rolo    
I carry on organising my quartet for wedding jobs. The others are all so busy that we don’t have time to rehearse for concerts. So instead I organised the 3rd Petit Petit Saint Jean Festival and Stephen, Beth and David with their families spent a busy 10 days here in August rehearsing every day. We again put on a little concert - Beethoven & Dvorak quartets - and Ella & Leo, David’s twins took part – a big hit with the audience.

I continue to play occasional duo concerts with my friend Adele, and this year played in a couple of fundraising concerts for the local church organ – an all Purcell programme with choir, organ & cello. It’s always a challenge though getting back into practice after our 2 months away in the winter! I need a collapsible cello to pack!

Three weeks of our winter holiday this year was spent in Panama where Martin had a couple of months’ work. We rented an apartment around the corner from them in Gamboa and had a wonderful time with Charlie & Jess and their group of friends as well as wonderful walks in the rainforest seeing exotic birds, animals and not forgetting the industrious leaf-cutter ants. It was incredible to see the huge cargo boats coming past Gamboa and we also did a boat trip on the Canal going through 2 of the locks. The highlight was Charlie and my birthday treat: the train ride across Panama from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

    Panama
Panama Canal Red-legged honeycreepers
Woodpecker & Hummingbird

Before Panama we visited our great friends Ivan & Linda in Saint Augustine, Florida. They showed us all the sights and I even joined in with Linda’s exercise classes (while John was having his brain checked in a Jacksonville hospital!) Then it was on to Nevis to visit more friends, Antigua for a few days by the beach, and Jamaica which turned out to be a difficult place for tourists like us! The south, apart from Kingston has no infrastructure for tourism e.g. cafes, restaurants or even hotels and the north where all the decent beaches are, is full of huge resorts, not the sort of place we enjoy. It was still quite an experience as we drove right around the island and over the Blue Mountains (coffee).

Our winter trip for 2016 will mainly be spent in Australia, but this time we have bought round the world tickets. We leave mid- January firstly to Florida to visit Ivan & Linda again; over to LA for a couple of days on our way to Auckland to see Doug and Heather who have just moved there; then to Adelaide to see all the family; ending with Perth to visit Gill & Charly. We will be back home for Easter.

We have just spent 2 weeks in Bristol, mainly babysitting Rolo so that Rog & Cat had more time to cope with the Christmas rush. It’s the busiest time of year for their on-line shop and they have had more orders than ever (see "Howkapow"). Rolo is very easy going and we had fun taking him to the zoo, aquarium, library etc. We also managed to see Martin & family in Shipham – a village on the edge of the Mendips – and had some lovely walks in the countryside. It reminded us of our time in Ewelme.

 
Rolo - June 2015 Hair Cut Saint Jean  
Chez Rog and Cat, with Rolo On the SS Gt Britain Shipham Kite Flying Nov 2015

We are now looking forward to Christmas with Martin, Molly and the children here at Le Petit Saint Jean. Charlie, now 3yrs 9 mths really understands it all and Jess tags along copying everything he says and does, and seems to understand everything too at 1yr 9mths!!

Lots of love to all – Jenny & John

 

 

Seasons Greetings to everyone!

Le Petit Saint Jean,  Luberon, Pertuis (15kms north of Aix-en-Provence)

We bought this ruin in January 1998 and spent 3 years to renovate.

The farm dates from 1688, complete with barn and chapel. . 

The renovation is now complete
 as it will ever be.

 

Studio (old pig sty and monks quarters)

 

The Ruined Chapel Saint Jean

More Chapel Pics

 

The Petit Saint Jean in winter

   viewed from the hill 

 

And the Pizza Oven

More Pizza Photos...

 


Last update: 31-12-2015