Meg and Eliot Walker
0044 (0)1453 884268
Well, we have been thinking back to those lovely summer days and what a beautiful summer it was! Global warming it might be but we thoroughly enjoyed it. A great excitement for us that we had the opportunity to buy the lake at the end of our fields, so now we have fresh trout to supplement the eggs from the hens and the roast lamb!
But now we have this glut of food, all the progeny have gone their separate ways and left home! Tom is happily settled in London with his girlfriend, Camilla, living in Earls Court. Tom is working in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which is just a short walk down the road, and he is a reception clerk in the trauma unit. This deals with complex plastic surgery, hand repairs and other injuries. He has lots of funny tales to tell about the NHS, but a grudging admiration for it. Part of Tom’s job is explaining to patients why they have been kept waiting for hours, and he has been on anger management and other courses to help him deal with things. As a result he is now more charming than he has been for years!
Jessie qualified as an occupational therapist at Oxford Brookes this year. Proud mother and father attended the awards ceremony and really enjoyed it. It was a far cry from our own days at Oxford Polytechnic when the awarding of degrees was simply a standard letter received some weeks after leaving. Jessie’s degree was granted with a major formal ceremony, followed by drinks and canapes at the so called Maxwell House, not the coffee but the place where Robert Maxwell once ruled his domain before falling off his yacht. She loved Oxford so much that she decided to stay there and now lives in a tiny little house in Jericho with two friends and is very happy. She works in High Wycombe, her first job being in a mental health unit, hard work which she tackles with great enthusiasm. She received her redundancy notice a week before starting work, which tells you something about the state of the NHS. But she took the decision to take the job and realised there was no way her job could actually be made redundant as there is no where for her patients to go, and certainly not into ‘care in the community’.
Sam likewise loved his college so much that he has decided to stay in Brighton for another year. He passed his guitar course with distinction but has decided that what fascinates him is the equipment, rather than performing. So he is doing a further year at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music learning everything there is to know about amplifiers and speakers, including how much they weigh. A large part of his course is practical and involves the students going out and finding work, which basically involves humping a lot of equipment around! This is great and Sam really enjoys it, not the carrying of equipment but the participation in the setting of shows and involvement with the musicians. And being a thoroughly practical course he will come out with a job, which can’t be bad!
What about Mum and Dad you ask? Well, Dad has had a minor rebirth as an architect, having got quite proficient with three-dimensional CAD. He has been drawing up various modest little schemes, including some for his brother in law’s property company! He has also been drawing up various grandiose schemes for improvements at Field House but whether these ever become reality is another matter!
Meg is busier than ever and has managed to run the Stroud half marathon as well! But she gave up her work with the County Council. Cuts meant that wages were cut in half and increasing departures of the administrative staff meant that organisation was becoming non-existent. She took the wise decision to stop her involvement and this has enabled her to refocus both on her teaching and her beloved Guild of Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Instructors. She qualified as a pilates instructor and this has been a much sought after skill. So she has a number of clients who come to Field House and go thorough their routines in Sam’s stable now converted to Meg’s exercise studio. It is a little small, hence the grandiose schemes I mentioned earlier!
In summary, this has been a year with no great dramas for us. Next year brings my bus pass into sharp focus but Meg – and Tony Blair – have convinced me that retirement is not an option and so we are going to work in some way until we expire! As we seem to be enjoying it, it’s not a bad idea for the moment!