Things the Wheelers learned in 2009

Dear all

Apologies if you have read this already; this is our Christmas letter this year. Yes, I know, one of those dreadful round robin thingies. Here's a confession: I actually quite like them, as most people I know seem to make some sort of effort to entertain or provoke thought. So here's my little effort, and also apologies to those of you I haven't sent cards to this year - my organisational skills only got me so far!

January: that the neighbours like kissing, after a ‘few’ drinks at New Year.

February: that nothing exciting ever happens in February.

March: that a dental injection administered at 10am leaves Tracey unable to speak at an 8pm meeting without causing general hilarity.

April: that all Richard has ever needed in life to make him totally happy is a shower with a decent water pressure.

May: that Jordan (then aged 14) can hike up a mountain. And hold her pee in until back down the other side, all night if necessary. And that when travelling to Venice it is a good idea to check you know where you are staying when you go for a little walk at 11pm, or at least that you have an 11-year-old child with you who pays attention (unlike her parents).

June: that Jordan is rather good at dancing the cha cha cha, paso doble, salsa, etc etc…

July: that Annie is brilliant at both drama and art, as evidenced by leading roles and prizes. And that Tracey can still make her grey matter remember stuff, as evidenced by her top-of-the-class prescribing exams; but that this may cause both her and her family to tip into nervous breakdowns.

August: that there is no law that says just because you had a soggy fortnight in Cornwall last year, it means you won’t get one this year too; but that taking a Nintendo Wii Fit with you makes the days go with a swing, even if mother has to limp through the streets of Fowey following a Wii-related injury (no alcohol involved, honest). Also that Richard loves live music, but Tracey contrives to feel bored even during a U2 extravaganza; and that 20 years of marriage has mysteriously flown by, almost as if they were enjoyable.

September: that Annie was made for secondary school; that she is a Big Hit with the boys; and that she pulls a mean pint of cider. That Jordan is a little peculiar when suffering with pneumonia. And that writing off a car can have good (financial) rewards .

October: that however many times you sing ’There’s a rat in ma kitchen, what am I gonna do…’ sooner or later you do actually have to do something, and your cats will be of No Use Whatsoever. And that small rats eat surprisingly large amounts of poison.

November: that Tracey needs to write even more articles for nursing journals to pay for the Wheeler’s Grand Trip in the US next year. That Richard Dawkins is married to an ex-Dr Who assistant. And that much rain + dodgy roof = big hole in the US trip fund.

December: that writing songs for church as a couple could possibly lead to the breakdown of the aforementioned Happy Marriage. That mock GCSEs cause much sorrow, but in the morning there is rejoicing. And that there is nothing that cannot be solved by another mince pie and a glass of mulled wine, even if the neighbours are looming again…

Have a wonderful Christmas! With our love, Richard, Tracey, Jordan and Annie


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