We enjoyed having Emily and Jasper with us for Christmas last year. Jasper is really quite the baker and helped with making mince pies, Christmas cookies, and dinner rolls during his visit. He can also peel onions in a flash!

Jasper in Xmas Jumper

Christmas Tree

Jasper's Mince Pies

Jasper helping making cookies

New Year's Eve Hash

In addition to the annual visit at Christmas, Emily and Jasper would normally also have visited us at Easter and for Jasper's birthday in August, and we would have made the occasional trip to the UK to visit them. We missed all of these visits this year because of travel restrictions in place from March. Even our visits with Rebecca in Austria only happened on a handful of occasions and had to be outside, socially distanced, and with masks! We have therefore felt very thankful for the video chat and Zoom technology that has enabled us to see each other online throughout the year. John did manage a short visit to Emily and Jasper in the UK in late February until early March, arriving home just before international travel restrictions began to be implemented.

Jasper feeding
Geese & Ducks

John keeping Jasper under control

At the RAF Museum

John and Jasper

Afternoon Tea

In mid-March, the first lockdown in Austria went into effect and we have been sheltering in place since then, ordering all our groceries online and getting them delivered to our front door. Marian has done quite a bit of bread-baking in the last months, including sourdough, and has enjoyed trying new recipes and improving on old ones. In the summer, our neighbour gave us two lots of cherries and Marian made two different cherry pies from them - a classic pie with a pastry crust and the one pictured here from one of her mother's recipes. In December, Marian got a surprise care package from her youngest sister, Lisa, with all the ingredients only available in the US for making three Special Pies, plus four packages of corn chips. Here are some photos of her efforts, including the Special Pie:

Pumpkin Seed Bread





Cherry Pie

Apple Blackberry Pie

Special Pie Care Package

Tommy and Rebecca met around Christmas last year (2019) and decided to move in together at the end of this year (2020). Rebecca spent this Christmas with Tommy's family in Vorarlberg. Hopefully Corona will allow us to spend Christmas with them next year. In August, Rebecca purchased a new VW Polo. Rebecca's cats, Snape, Redford, and Lily, are still thriving. Rebecca decided to leave the company where she had been working part-time as a graphic designer at the end of December. Alongside this "regular work", she had been working in partnership with one of her colleagues who is also named Rebecca. The demand for their work had been growing and they both decided it was time for a proper office. Their company, called Same Same Studio, will open their new office in January 2021.

Rebecca and Tommy on a hike

Rebecca and her new car

Snape, Redford, Lily

Same Same Studio - New office

Jasper is now four years old and started school in September. As his birthday is in August, he is one of the youngest in his class. Jasper learned how to ride a bike and sometimes takes his bike to school. There is a nice wooded area near where Emily and Jasper live where they often go walking and cycling. Jasper likes to help Emily in the kitchen.

1st Day at School

Jasper Going to School

Jasper in the Woods

Jasper and Emily

Jasper in the Kitchen

John lost a dear friend, Chris Hesling, on 3rd April to this awful virus, and another friend was in hospital with it for several weeks. November and December brought more bad news. Three old friends were lost, two to the dreaded virus and one from more normal health issues. John Skinner and Kevin McLaughlin were friends from John's early years in Vienna and the three of them had helped found the Vienna Celtic Rugby Club by getting together a group of Brits who had played at school with some Austrians who were willing to learn. From these early training matches, a rugby club for Austrians was founded and still plays regularly in Vienna and neighbouring countries.

Tom Brennan (aka Beanman) had been a close friend since 1982 and we lost him on 2nd December. He was married to an Austrian (Gertraud) and had two children (Sean and Erin). He worked in different places over the years, but always returned to Vienna and had retired here. He was one of the founders of the Vindobona Hash House Harriers which he supported by turning up almost every time we had an anniversary run in April each year. We will miss him.

Chris (1st left) at the Schweizerhaus

The original T-shirt (1982)

1800th Hash, October 2015

35th Anniversary, April 2017

Last time at the Hash, April 2019

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