Paul and Margaret Hardy,
15 Kentings,
Tel 01223 263232
November 27th 1997


Summary of the year - 1997

Another Xmas approaches - where did 1997 go? It has been a busy year, with a lot of pleasurable travelling, but seems to have passed rapidly by. Anyway, we are both in good health and generally enjoying life.

Our year started in India, where we were on holiday in the state of Kerala, down near the southern tip of the subcontinent. We spent a week touring the beautiful interior of Kerala, and a week on the coast at Kovalam, relaxing. The tour included a memorable trip into the spice hills of the Western Ghat mountains (on Christmas day we were at Munnar at 5000 feet) and 24 hours on a rice boat on the inland lagoons by Kochin. It was Paul's second trip to India in a short space of time. He flew back from a business trip to Delhi on the Friday, spent Saturday at home, and we flew back out together on the Sunday! As well as memories, Paul brought back a gut infection (giardiasis), which was unpleasant for a short time until antibiotics cleared it up. It didn't put us off India, though. We'd happily go back again.

In February we went to Rome for a long weekend city break. We covered a lot of miles and visited many churches and other historic places. Paul finally got to the Forum (he'd been to Rome on business before but not had much time for sightseeing). We went early to the Vatican and were the first people that morning into the Sistine Chapel - It's magnificent now it has been cleaned.

In March we had a week in Tenerife where, with the help of a hire car, we found a number of good walks. We got to the top of Mt Tiede (the highest mountain in Europe at 3700m) - by cable-car. Having bought 'Landscapes of Northern Tenerife' we're going back to the island next spring to do some more of the walks.

In April, Paul had a conference in Monaco, and Margaret was able to go too. We stayed in Nice, and afterwards spent a long weekend with our French friends in Aspremont.

In May we went on a Ramblers holiday walking in Crete, based on Khania. This was a very enjoyable week, and has inspired us to book several walking holidays for next year (including New England in the Fall). We must have been feeling masochistic in Crete, though, because on our day off we walked the descent of the Samaria gorge (16km horizontal, 1.2km vertical!).

We didn't go abroad in June! However, in July, Margaret and friend jointly held a hundredth birthday party. We went punting in Cambridge (with bubbly and strawberries), then back to Kentings for lunch in the garden. We were lucky with the weather, and a good day was had by all. As a birthday present, Margaret went off on a bilingual walking holiday in the Cevennes area of France.

A young Italian woman came to stay for 10 days in August to improve her English - which was already very good. She was excellent company and we enjoyed showing her some of the sights.

We went by Eurostar for a long weekend in Bruges to celebrate Paul's birthday at the end of August. It was our first visit there and we were both very impressed by the beauty of the old city and its canals. The visit was made more memorable by arranging to meet with a friend of Paul's whom he hadn't seen for 25 years since college days. Brigitte and her husband lent us bicycles and took us out into the neighbouring countryside, as well as by car to Zeebrugge to see an amazing sand sculpture recreating the medieval city of Bruges in miniature.

At the end of September we went to Turkey to a small village called Turunç near Marmaris.1.e in the next bay but one if travelling by boat or over the mountains on a narrow, winding road. We took Paul's mother, and while Paul returned after a week, Margaret and Win stayed on for a second week. Our apartment was more basic than we would have wished and Margaret and Win had a couple of hair-raising boat trips, but the holiday was generally enjoyed. A highlight was a trip to Ephesus by hire car. The driver spoke no English, and although we could muster 100 words of Turkish between us they weren't always the right ones for the occasion. Ephesus was well worth the journey and we were also able to visit the local museum where many of the artefacts from the site have been taken.

We're booked to go to Morocco, again with Mother, for a week just after Xmas, so we should end 1997 like we started it, abroad in warmer climes.

We've entered cyberspace this year. You can email us on (or, or visit our web site at Paul is fascinated by the power of computers and the scope of the Internet. Margaret isn't convinced of the merits of computers and the information society. She still prefers spoken or written communication (preferably with a quill pen!). However she has to use a PC as a tool for her work, and has been heard to say that being able to use the Internet at home to plan train journeys (using a computer in Germany!) is very useful.

Margaret is enjoying (on the whole) her job is as Coordinator for the Forest Education Initiative. This week she has been to Edinburgh and Perth - and had a 4 hour flight delay. She works 18½ hours a week going on 38½. In theory this leaves time for sport and badminton and she would like to have some Spanish lessons before we go to Tenerife.

Paul is still at Laser-Scan, as Product Manager for Mapping and Charting products. As always, LSL has been on the verge of big successes, but hasn't quite reached them yet. Paul is working long hours (like many of those in work) as industry tries to grow while reducing staff in the name of efficiency, but finds time for German classes and playing his concertina.

Our ex foster son Barry (now Dominic Graywolf) is 22, and when we last heard had a permanent job as a security guard. He has been to dinner a few times during the year, and writes to us from time to time, but we haven't heard from him for a couple of months.

We hope you had a good year in 1997, and are looking forward to 1998 (and beyond).

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,