It's started already.
A fabulous weekend with Mum and Dad, going to Arnhem in Holland for them to see Andre Rieu. Saturday.
Great flight over, superb hire car and smooth, empty motorways to get from Amsterdam Airport to Arnhem. [Birds seen on the way included geese and ducks, mostly gadwall, and a few buzzards]. Duiven Hotel, tall, comfortable booked in and tea. Then it was off to the concert for Mum and Dad in a taxi whilst I enjoyed a jacuzzi and Strictly Come Dancing.
Midnight, they arrived back after the taxi driver had shown them around Arnhem for no extra cost; the Christmas lights [yes Mum, I got it - trees covered in white lights!] and the World War 2 bridge; not from the film but the 'actual'.
Sunday. Off back to explore Amsterdam. Beautiful city and one that had never been on my 'must visit' list but it is now. The reputation and colleague's jokes and innuendos had always put me off the place but I was wrong. It was charming! A lovely city with millions of bikes. Anywhere that has a multistorey bike park has got to be doing something right.
Back to Warwick after a flight over London back to Birmingham for Mum and dad to watch Strictly!
Dad was 80 this year and the concert was a birthday present for him and the whole weekend was for me to say thank you to them both for being such fabulous parents.
Speaking of saying thank you for being fabulous. I've spent time writing Christmas cards and sending texts/emails to the people I met last year during my Biking Birder experience. I just wish I had the time to really individualise it and say to each and every one exactly how much they meant to me last year. Also to those people who kindly made a donation on my behalf to Asthma UK, the RSPB and the WWT I'd love to be able to write/email to say thank you. I can't see how to do that though. Thanks everyone for making it the best year of my life.
Well building the best Design & Technology department is a priority but away from that there'll be the Green Birding Day competition in May to enjoy. [If you want details please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org], a year's birding with other members of The Clams [Clear Lunacy and Madness Society]; this being the latest incarnation of the T.I.T.S [terpsichorean inpried Twitcher society] from a Big Year back in 2005, birding holidays to Poland and Fair Isle and cycling to my patch, the fabulous Upton Warren.
Have a Great Christmas Everyone!
All my love to you all,