Well yes we finally did it ! We relented and decided to send out our own NEWSLETTER this year to all our family and friends. No only send it out but we’ve put it here on the World Wide Web for the whole wide world to see. So here we go. We’re going to tell you about our exciting year, our adventures and the children as they are growing up.
AND WHAT ADVENTURES THEY TURNED OUT TO BE !!!
Well, this time last year saw Martin up a long ladder clearing out the gutters - those of you that remember our house know what a job that can be. Anyway while he was up there he found leaves, muck and twigs (even some broken tiles from the roof) partially blocking one of the hoppers. If we had left it for a few more years it may have been an even harder job. After almost 30 minutes of effort he was able to come down to earth, much to my relief as I was holding the ladder !
Car-wise it was also excitement all the way this year. In May we were caught in a 9 mile tail-back on the A165 Bridlington to Kingston Upon Hull link road, when a lorry hit a milk float at the tricky B1239 Biton junction, luckily we heard later that the driver was shaken but not stirred – more than could be said about the milk!!!
Then in August to our horror, we had a tire go semi-flat on us, on the M23, which meant that we could only do 25 miles an hour in the inside lane for six hours until we arrived at our destination. People were very sympathetic though, especially the lorry drivers, who waved and hooted encouragement to us to ‘carry on’ as they past us, long into the night.
To ‘cap’ it all though, in November we drove off from a small BP filling station in Thetford with the petrol cap not screwed on tightly enough - after sever miles of that nagging doubt you get when you do something like that, we stopped and Martin jumped out just as it got dark and had to tighten it up again. As he remarked at the time, “it could have scratched the car had it worked loose and flipped off at speed”, but I guess we were very lucky that time.
We set off with high hopes this year for our holiday with the smart new luggage we had bought from Argos in July, packed and bulging with warm clothes. (As you know we were trying to put the problems of last year behind us).
But what happened this year ? Having arrived in Whitby for our 14 day all expenses paid B&B exclusive Summer break, we put the big case down on the floor of the room and it fell slightly to one side. On closer inspection it turned out that the small rubber foot from the bottom of the suitcase was missing ! Well we despatched the children to look in the car and on the pavement, we searched the stairs and the bedroom, but after two hours of crawling around on our hands and knees, we just had to give up and admit the holiday was ruined AGAIN !
The rest of the two weeks was taken up with Martin on the phone trying to get the holiday insurance company to admit that the damage was covered by the policy – a task he relished – while the rest of us huddled under the sea wall in the drizzle. As luck would have it he eventually wore them down and they finally admitted defeat on the last day but one and promised us a cheque to cover the damage in the post that afternoon. Victory for the small man ! But the story does not end there, so read on if you dare !
So would you believe it, when we got back we opened the front door to find an envelope on the doormat – the letter from the insurance company complete with a cheque. Underneath it, however, was the little rubber foot - sitting there on the doormat - just where we had put the suitcase down prior to loading the car ! How we laughed and laughed and laughed.
Finally a bit about the children. Obviously we were delighted in the Spring when they were both let off with a caution for the fire they started in the chemical plant in Turkey and the case collapsed (making the police drop charges) for the East London drive-by-shooting they were implicated in at the end of 2001 (see last years newsletter).
We still have to hear what the German authorities will do about the supposed planning of a bomb attack, incitement to violence and spreading unconstitutional propaganda charges. Early this year, they apparently constructed a functional 40cm long pipe bomb from instructions found on the internet. The police think they planned to use the device to blow up the car of a senior politician, but we’re think it was just for bomb fire night. Anyway luckily the so-called attack was never carried out, since the boys were arrested beforehand so the Bundespartei-police can’t prove they would have used the bomb.
We thought all the mistaken identification lark had stopped but last November we were rudely awoken by the front door being smashed in (again) as someone had mistakenly identified them as the pair that stole a four-by-four vehicle and rammed a local village couple's car into their house while they slept, when they spun off the road whilst being chased by a squad car and helicopter after a ram-raid went wrong.
So although we met under difficult circumstances, we are understandable very proud to be on first name terms with both the Director of the Child Care unit and the Police Constable of the Suffolk Constabulary. They will certainly remain on our Christmas card list !
Anyway that’s about all there is from us. Hope to see more of you in 2003 and if not - well - watch out for the NEWSLETTER this time next year !
Cheers and Merry Christmas
The Brazill Family.