Had to post this. Written by Harry, aged 16. Hope he doesn’t mind. The world, as viewed by a bright teenager, in West Wales :)

Christmas Newsletter 2013 – By Harry again (oh sh*t again)

After last year’s newsletter I swore never again to attempt to write something funny. This is it.

So, we have navigated safely through the rocky passage of Christmas and sail into the doldrums of another year.  After what seems like a cliché, life continues strange as ever in our house. ALED: (arguing with dad) For God’s sake dad this isn’t a courtroom! DAD: I’ll be the judge of that!

And things of that ilk. School continued on for me and Al, new knowledge pushed in one ear, forcing last year’s knowledge out the other. The school BLT is still fondly known as Botulism Leprosy and Typhoid, and the rugby pitch is still short of 1 pair of rugby posts and half its quota of grass. The council wants to improve the school, but they haven’t managed to close it yet. Mum has not been doing so much rowing, but more of that later. We’re still playing rugby, sigh, I am not playing hooker anymore and thus I have grown to 6 feet. It has been very expensive buying all those shoes.

Grandparents Diamond Wedding AnniversaryMe in my Prom suit

Spring. Twas the week before Easter and it was mum’s turn to throw a spanner in the proverbial works. She had a particularly bad bout of sickness and vomiting, and ye slow minded doctor men, after prescribing a course of leaches, hit on a lucky guess and took her appendix out. She then proceeded to tell everyone she ever knew and anyone she talked to thereafter the gripping story of how the doctor daringly removed the appendix and how she made a full recovery. While mum was otherwise unavailable for shopping etc. Dad became quite good at foraging…. in M & S.

As time went on something strange began to happen, we didn’t expect it, nor did we have any idea what to do with it. We had never encountered anything like it before. The temperature rose slowly but steadily, and a strange bright orb rose in the sky. Was it? Surely not! But yes it was! Summer was here! We had read about it yes, but never had we seen the real thing. The good weather meant that dad and I had many great trips out in the boat fishing. There was some kind of mackerel apocalypse in Pembrokeshire, meaning we caught about ten times more 5lb+ bass than mackerel. One evening we tried filming a sunset fishing trip, and from about 3hrs of film we managed to stitch together about 90secs of useable video. We had an excuse though; we are totally inept at filming. We would include the video here but this paper is so damn old-fashioned.

Exams next. All went well apart from additional maths, which I utterly fudged due to not knowing any answers and when asked to ‘show all my workings’ wrote down ‘Never! A man’s workings are his own private affair!’  

Next, I broke the habit of a lifetime to attend a social gathering. We had a year 11 prom, which meant I needed to blitz my spots. A bottle of azure liquid; ‘Dermatologically tested to fight 100% of spots’. Or is it ‘Dermatologically spotted to test 100% of fights’? I went to the prom,where I had a fun evening of sitting down watching the few people who were actually dancing. I won the ‘most likely to win master-mind’ prize. Which I hope was a reference to my intelligence and not my habit of annoying people with nuggets of useless knowledge.

As we roll into July and August, dad reached significant annoyance with his job to start looking for a new one. He sent his CV in several directions, and I found a top tip that may explain why he didn’t hear back from some. ‘Employers. Avoid hiring unlucky people by throwing half the CVs in the bin straight away.’ That cheered him no end. He did find a new job, and described it as having pluses and minuses but 12,000 pluses for a start.

Lo! I spy the words Duke of Edinburgh Expedition on the calendar. We were in the Preseli mountains, where facilities where primitive, but so were we. There were five of us in the group, but it took only one to break the tent pole. The assessors were not pleased, I don’t know why,our only crime was our only crime. But the tent was fixed (ish) and all was well.


2 bass for Harry (dad says his were bigger)Midsummer sunset from Trenifed (1 of Al’s photos)

We had finally found a use for this newfangled ‘summer’ thing. We had gone to north Wales to the beach and to see Ruth’s mum, who (after hearing about mum’s appendicitis) informed us that ‘You should go to Chester Cathedral, it’s got a cafe now.’ She is going deaf, which provides some interesting conversations. MUM (annoyed) : Sploge (cat) keeps weeing in the fireplace. NAIN: WHAT?! Rodge keeps weeing in the fireplace!?

September, and after the brief foray into summer, we were back to reliable autumn. I had entered into sixth form and Al into his GSCEs. I had chosen English, History, Religious Studies and Chemistry. On hearing the last three, a friend of ours asked ‘What did I want to be? A terrorist?’  Al has chosen Art, Catering, Geography and RS, which begsthe question, did he want to be an arty vicar who cooks and knows the capital of Lithuania? School again bombarded us with the ‘most important years of your life’ ‘do as we say not as we do’ etc.

I am alerted by a call from downstairs, mum is on the phone ‘And then you see, they saw my appendix needed taking out so they had to… yes I’ll order, I’ll have two kormas and a Rogan Josh.’ Aled is looking sad. It was going to be a bad year for the cat, she was dead. L

So, we have come full circle, back to good old Noel, Saint Nick and eating yourself silly season with intermittent rain. We are nearly at the end of the year, but you dear readers, will never know what happens in this magical period between me writing the newsletter and you reading it. It could be anything, but will most likely have intermittent rain. We hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year with intermittent fun.

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