The Russell Christmas Letter 2013

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Becky assembling IKEA sofa

Becky's living room

Becky decided to leave the fashion design course in Paris after one semester, and started a degree in Information Science at the Vienna Technical University in March. In April, she moved into an apartment near the Votivkirche in Vienna. John helped her a lot with building furniture and hanging curtains.

There was a very late spring this year. We had snow through the last days of March, but warm sunny Spring weather arrived at the beginning of April. It was a very good year for the flowers and fruit trees in our garden.

Snow on 26 March 2013

Tulips in April

Cherry blossoms (with our house in the background)

Ann's diamond pendant

John's Mum with a bit of crackling

Ann and John from a few years ago

In June, John travelled to England where the main event was his sister Ann's 60th Birthday. On her birthday, she prepared a lovely meal and received many nice presents.

In July, Becky went to Berlin with her boyfriend, Daniel, while Marian baked various fruit pies and tarts using fruit from the garden.

Becky in front of the Berlin Wall

Becky and Daniel

Apple Tarte Tatin

Zephirine Drouhin


Aging Westerlands

This year, for the first time, we planted roses in the garden and there were many lovely blooms.

In August, Marian's sister Lisa came for a visit. They visited Schoenbrunn and the Belvedere palaces, took a ride on a steam train to the top of the Schneeberg, visited the Amethyst World (the largest amethyst vein in the world), went to a concert of the 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the Grafenegg castle, and took a boat ride on the Danube to the Durnstein Castle.

Lisa at Schoenbrunn

View from the top of Schneeberg

Marian & Lisa at Grafenegg Castle

Emily continues with her theatre studies at Royal Holloway (University of London). She has also been active with the radio and TV station at the University and even did her own radio show for a few Sundays in November and December.

Emily at a concert in August

Emily with the camera for Rhubarb TV

Emily promoting Insanity Radio

Emily playing table tennis in her kitchen

Marian got a new Renault Scenic in early August. It's satellite navigation system was really helpful during Lisa's visit. September is the month of all the family birthdays. Emily and Becky made a joint birthday cake, John got an apple pie with a lattice crust, and Marian got some beautiful flowers. Later in September, our nephew, Robin, popped the question to his girlfriend, Gillian, during a weekend in Venice. Marian retired at the end of September.

Marian's new car

Becky & Emily made this cake
celebrating their 20th and 22nd birthdays

Marian's birthday flowers

Robin & Gillian got engaged in Venice!

After Marian's retirement, John and Marian visited John's mother in England for two weeks. We also visited John's sister and her family and Marian received a lovely 60th birthday and retirement present from them. Then John and Marian travelled to the USA to visit family in Florida and California. In Florida we spent a lot of time with the two granddaughters, Tiffany and Sami. Then we travelled to San Diego for Thanksgiving with Marian's sisters, Kate, Jennifer and Lisa, and their partners, Jody, Javad and Craig. We also celebrated Jennifer's birthday during the visit.

Beautiful 60th birthday & retirement necklace

John, Marian, Sami & Tiffany

Thanksgiving turkey

Jennifer's birthday cake

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Copyright 2013 John Russell, last updated 22 December 2013, Number of hits = Counter