From the Southampton Anthonys, written by Chris on behalf of Chris, Liz, Clive, Hugh and Kizzy the cat

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Christmas was shared with Ram and our neighbours Robert and Rob, with Rob’s Chinese student tenant Jerry, now a good friend who has sadly left us to return home. Thanks as usual of course to Liz for all her hard work.

My highlight with the City of Southampton Orchestra was a wonderful performance in the Turner Sims Concert Hall. We played Lutoslawski’s Little Suite for Orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s 3rd Symphony (The Polish) and Liszt’s 2nd piano concerto. We had never played these before and our conductor (the outstanding Dominic Grier) had searched for evidence of other performances by equally great orchestras and found that they were very rarely played. We were delighted that we were able to fill the hall. The cello section of ‘my’ orchestra has joined together (separately) to produce YouTube performances of music by Byrd  (tinyurl.com/y3j79qzu) and Mozart tinyurl.com/yxaphsnh). I have spent many playing cello sonatas, piano trios and string quartets, playing along with performances on YouTube. My companions have included Rostropovich and Richter, the Beaux Arts piano trio, The Berg string quartet and many others who I feel have deserved my company.

Liz and I have spent many hours playing flute/cello duets, most written for violin and cello so difficult for flute. She is spending a lot of time on the piano, a pleasure for all of us. She and Hugh keep fit by long walks every day, competing for the greater number of steps recorded on their wrist devices. I keep fit playing cello and getting up from my computer to go downstairs for coffee etc. I have also been doing more cooking – mainly Indian dishes.

Hugh’s Southampton Concert Orchestra highlight was a sold-out performance in the same concert hall a few weeks earlier. His programme included the Adagio from Spartacus and Phrygia (Khachaturian), Excerpts from Romeo & Juliet (Prokofiev) and Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto. He continues with his violin lessons, learning Bach’s A minor violin concerto, Beethoven’s Romance in F and Elgar’s Chanson d’Amor. He does these on Zoom so the lessons just fly by.  He has been treating us to weekly filmed concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (subscribing to Digital Concert Hall) eg. Symphonies by Mahler, Nielsen, Walton. We are always amazed that we have also performed these, perhaps we were following Gustav Holst’s advice to his pupils that “if a thing is worth doing it is worth doing badly”. He continues to enjoy his work in the National Oceanographic Library (part of the University Library), mainly working from home. He helps out at the main library (Hartley) for half a day on 3 days a week, mainly ensuring that students understand and obey the rules.

Although I have stopped going to India I have not got it out of my system. I had previously put my photos on my website each year. I have now put them on my site under subject headings as My Tirupati History pages (1982 – 2015): tinyurl.com/y69cn9ys . Please click and enjoy so I do not feel I have wasted too many hours.

We enjoyed an exceptional sunny summer with hours spent lazing in the garden playing scrabble, reading and, accompanied by Kizzy and red damsel flies, watching our 4 adult and 8 baby goldfish in the pond.
         We didn’t go on our usual France trip this year but managed a 10 day trip up North in our motorhome to the most southerly part of Scotland at New England Bay on the Mull of Galloway. Our stay there was cut short by Red Severe Weather warnings which drove us Northeast to Berwick to visit our friend Nigel for bracing walks and energetic music – mainly cello duets. Our last camp stop at a farm near Banbury included special fish and chips with Paul Martin and his girlfriend Georgie; Paul is a good friend of Hugh’s, recently returned from a few years in Poland; a wonderful re-union.  Click for itinerary and pictures:  tinyurl.com/y3lmbjue.  Libby and I went for a final camp this year (so far) at Hurst View campsite near Pennington, overflown by Canada Geese, and shared with wonderful marsh and shore birds and a magnificent Red-breasted Merganser.

Clive’s garden ‘zoo’ became too heavily populated and his 12 chickens and 6 miniature sheep were threatened after a long wet period in a swampy garden so he found new happy free range homes for them in fenced fields. Tiffany has converted their muddy zoo into a beautiful garden with lawns and flowers. They now have a new form of wildlife - a Maine Coon cat. When a very young kitten he was larger than our Kizzy. Clive has built him his own huge garden home which he accesses from within the house. Clive’s project, modifying a commercial van into a camper van is nearly finished so he was encouraged to apply his new skills  as carpenter, electrician and plumber to another project, just completed, of a refurnished kitchen. He has changed his job within the police to something more challenging like collating ‘secret intelligence’. Carrington is doing A levels in Taunton’s College; she lives with friends nearby and so meets up with Liz and Hugh for chatty walks in the local cemetery. Bailey drives to Barton Peverell College to study Maths and computing stuff, while earning his living working as a trolley wallah in a supermarket. Kenny has become a teenager, full of enthusiasm and energy, acquiring life skills, helping Clive in his projects.

      SO, a happy year: Thanks to family and friends for their support in this project (life), and to God be the Glory 

15 Oaklands way, Southampton SO167PA. hra@soton.ac.uk; ca1@soton.ac.uk; lizanthonysoton@hotmail.co.uk 02380766484. www.chris-anthony.co.uk