The Russell Christmas Letter 2012

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Starting from New Year's Eve in 2011, here is a photo of Becky and Emily all dressed up to celebrate with friends in Vienna. John and Marian let off the traditional fireworks in the back garden, and were delighted that this year one neighbor organized an amazing professional display lasting more than 30 minutes in the field behind the house. We hope they will do it again this year.

Becky and Emily

New Year at Stephansdom, Vienna

80151 running round the train in Kingscote

1638 waiting to start with the train from Sheffield Park

473 waiting at Kingscote

John visited his favourite steam railway, the Bluebell Railway, in February and September. In February, the weather was very dull, but September was much brighter, and here are a few photos from these visits.

In May, Marian visited her daughter, Margaret, and her family in Florida, and celebrated Mother's Day with them. They are a beautiful family and the granddaughters, Tiffany and Samantha, are very sweet and beautiful little girls.

Tiffany, Margaret, and Samantha

The Snow Family

Samantha and Tiffany

Becky receiving her diploma

Emily & Becky having a laugh

The Family Photo

In June, we all attended Becky's graduation from the Vienna International School, where she received an IB Diploma.

Emily continues to enjoy her time at Royal Holloway. Here are some party photos.

Emily & friends

Emily & friends

Emily & friends

John in typical pose

30th Anniversary Hash, on the border

1600th Hash in Schloss Laxenburg Park

John was busy throughout the year organizing various events for the Hash. This included a weekend in April (30th Anniversary of the Hash in Vienna with 100 Hashers), on the border between Hungary & Austria where the Iron Curtain was first torn down, the 1600th Hash in Vienna in August, and the Hash Christmas Party in December.

In late Spring, Emily started an internship at the Finborough Theatre in London. In the beginning, she just helped with productions, but by the end of the summer, she had become a Stage Manager of the play, Cornelius, with two assistants, as well as a share in the profits of the show, which was quite a promotion for someone still studying at university. During her work at Finborough, she was involved in several productions, including The Drawer Boy and Cornelius. We were able to see Cornelius when we visited England in September. It is a fascinating play about the problems running a small company in the depression years of the 1930s, which resonates with the financial situation today. This play was written by JB Priestley, but had been somehow forgotten and not performed for over 70 years! The Finborough production received good reviews in papers like the The Guardian. Later in the Fall, she was asked at the last minute to stage manage another play at the Finborough, which she managed to do in addition to her schoolwork. She has been very busy in the last couple of months and is glad to be back home where she can relax and get some much needed sleep.

The Drawer Boy


Guardian Review of Cornelius

Becky started her studies in Fine Arts at the Paris College of Art at the end of August. John, Marian & Becky took the train from Vienna to Paris with lots of luggage for Becky. Then we helped her get settled in to her small studio flat in the 11th district of Paris, buying various items for the kitchen, and some towels and linens. After 2 weeks in Paris, John and Marian travelled to London via Eurostar and stayed with John's Mum and Dad for 2 weeks. While in England, John, Marian and Emily saw a great stage performance of Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre in London. We managed to spend Becky's birthday with her in Paris and Emily's birthday with her in England, and John was able to celebrate his 61st birthday with all his close family (except Becky who was in Paris). We did not know this would be the last major family gathering with John's father. John and Marian returned to Vienna by train a couple of days before Marian's birthday, but the route was via Brussels and Cologne. It is a very comfortable way to travel, if you have the time.

Becky settled in to her new apartment

Window box and back courtyard

Yummy French Desserts

Emily's Birthday Cake

The London Eye on a dull day

Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre

John's Dad fell ill at the beginning of November with pneumonia. After 8 days in hospital, despite the best efforts of the doctors and nurses, he passed away on 11 November 2012. It was a shock to lose him so quickly, but he lived 85 years, being fit and healthy all his life, so he had a good innings really. John's Mum is now on her own at 86 after 62 years of marriage, but we are all doing our best to look after her.

In Loving Memory, Edward Herbert Russell, 3 May 1927 to 11 November 2012

John's Dad

John's Mum and Dad on their 60th Wedding Anniversary

John's Dad in typical pose with red wine glass

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Copyright 2012 John Russell, last updated 27 December 2012, Number of hits = Counter