Every year I’m sure all of your households receive at least one or two yearly letters from families who think that you’re actually interested in the achievements and experiences they have gained over the past year. I personally feel they get worse and worse each year, with the bragging at a maximum level. So I have decided to write a spoof letter from a fictional family of five:
It’s time again for telling you the family news.
This year started with a surprise present from the boys for Martin and me to travel the world, taking in the Seven Wonders of the World. Aissa, our current au pair, packed our cases for us and Gabor, her illegal immigrant boyfriend, drove us to the airport.
Whilst we were on our travels, Robert decided to do a PhD in Nanotechnology. By the time we had returned in March he had completed all the work necessary, taken the exams and got the results, which, of course, were a double first – which is what we were expecting. At the same time he entered a marathon and came first with a time of 2 hours. His experience of this was so incredible that he has been asked to present a talk on it in London and New York – where his talk will almost certainly be published.
When Robert returns from New York, he will continue as Captain of the rugby, lacrosse and rowing clubs at Cambridge. He and his Cambridge chums organised a grand cocktail party for their birthdays, with 550 guests. Afterwards they had a jolly good time throwing each other into the river fully clothed – such fun. Unfortunately none of the family were invited, which was just well as we were all far too busy. Fitting in another arrangement would’ve been too much.
Matthew continues to enjoy and excel at every sport one can think of. He has been ‘spotted’ by the professionals so many times now, it gets a little tedious. However swimming seems to be his favourite. He dives off a mile-high diving board, proceeds to swim underwater without any breathing aids for an hour and a half, and still comes up for more. Matthew is over in Hong Kong on a sponsorship from Santander, who are begging him to accept their offer of a very senior and well-paid job. He really wants to bleed them dry with sponsorships before he turns them down.
Santander have promised Matthew a mansion in Hong Kong, with an Olympic sized swimming pool with air conditioning and staff to dry him and provide drinks. Of course we will all go over there (all expenses paid for everyone) and spend a few months with him – if we can spare the time. Probably, Christopher will have a dissertation or two to complete whilst over there, but knowing him, it won’t take long.
Alexander continues to be a very talented child in everything he does. At nine, he is taking his maths, physics and chemistry GCSEs. We were very disappointed that he will have to wait another year to take his applied maths and Latin, however it does mean that there is more time for his brilliant violin playing and music composition.
Alexander is expecting an A* in all of his GCSEs and hopes that by the time he is 16, there will be a higher grade he can achieve. I think he needs more of a challenge than GCSE A* can give him.
Back to our round the world trip – what an experience. We both felt that it was a better trip than the one we did two years ago, in reverse. We started this time in Europe, where we narrowly missed a tornado. We then went on to North Africa, where we narrowly missed the worst sandstorm the area has had for over 100 years. We then went to South Africa, where we very nearly ended up as lion fodder in a safari park.
Then on to Australia which was very hot and the worst draught there for 25 years. From Australia we went to Canada where we got caught in the worst snow drifts the country has ever known. We huddled together in our hired Aston Martin DB5 for over a week, but with our training in survival, we were fine and could have lasted much longer.
Then it was back to Heathrow, where our aeroplane missed the runway and burst into flames. Everywhere was panic, but fortunately Martin, with his negotiating and calming skills – only acquired by someone with such high standing and seniority within his profession – stepped in and the whole situation was under control. Martin then piloted the aircraft (he was grateful to have successfully completed his advanced pilot’s licence, with top marks) to safety and everyone was exceedingly grateful. He was interviewed and appeared in the Sunday nationals.
Now back at home, we have re-stocked the koi carp pond, as the old fish were losing their colours. They are now in the freezer waiting for barbecue weather, Aissa and Gabor can cook for us when we hold our annual party for 250 guests. Life is so busy for all of us.
My sister continues to receive family credit and the Council have promised to re-home her off the Toxteth estate, hopefully to Bermondsey. They all continue to have problems with damp and headlice but we all hope the Bermondsey air will clear them.
With best wishes to you all and a happy new year
Katrina + Family