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Christmas 1996

Manor News

Dear All,

Here we are again, another year nearly over and what a busy time it has been.


In May through June I took all my exams. They seemed to go reasonably well, but I had the long wait until August to find out that I had managed to pass with three 'A' grades. This was in Theoretical Music, Practical Music and Maths. This meant that I had the grades to go to university.

Straight after the A level results I went on a music course for four days. I played Eflat clarinet with the Warwickshire County Wind Band and we had four full days of rehearsal (9am to 9pm with breaks for meals!). The time was ended with a concert in Warwick (And it was brilliant! - Andrew).

I started a BMus (music) course at Sheffield University on 23 September. The first week is called Intro Week were it is just first years trying to get registered for all and everything. It was definitely a case of if you see a queue you join it and then discover what people are queuing for!

As for the studying, for my first year I have to do other subjects as well as music. I have chosen: Practical Computing (a bit of a cheat since I know about computers already), C programming and astronomy - the solar system. All my subjects are going well at the moment. Music is by far the most intensive.

During the summer holiday this year I registered again with Randstad Employment Agency, working for companies such as Next, De Montfort University, Haymarket Shopping Centre, etc.

As well as the full-time study for a degree in Music I have also taken on a performance diploma on the Oboe. This involves written work aswell as playing, so I have plenty to keep me busy!


This year I seem to have spent so much time and energy just getting from A to B. Yet I'm not as tired as I was last year.

When it was snowy earlier on I went to work by bus most days. There isn't room for a bike, two cars and a hard shoulder of snow on some roads I use.

At work my van driver broke his wrist in the snow and I ended up doing lots of van driving.

This year I've clocked up 3,000 miles by bike (Lez has only done 1,000). I've worn out one saddle, been hit by a school coach, broken the tandem back axle, replaced 3 inner tubes, fallen on my bike and broken the transmission system, upgraded to ten gears, cycled through the Slaughters with Lez, and that was just by bike!

When Lez's parents went to Cyprus we looked after their car for them. Andrew's parents were regularly lending us their car earlier this year. We were given a car in September by Lez's parents. I'm grateful for the car maintenance course I had a few years back and for a Father-in-law with axle stands and patience.

I've not done many jobs around the home. A concession was insulating the loft.

I had to sit on a jury at Leicester Crown Court. At the time this really got to me, but I wouldn't mind repeating the experience now. I was paid rail fare!

Our humble Amstrad PCW has now moved to Sheffield. We are now using a PC of doubtful pedigree (but it works and it saves Andrew so much time when sorting out the money - Lez). We plan to upgrade later this year.

This summer saw us camping in Oxfordshire where the native language is Dutch! (Lots of continental campers). We took the tandem on Andrew's parents car roof rack. We didn't cycle very far this year. We both needed a rest. We did lots of reading. The weather was so hot we spent much of our time in the shade of the tent.

In Autumn we shared a cottage in Somerset with Lez's parents. We were able to take the tandem on our very own car this time. Again we didn't do much cycling. Lez persuaded me into the open air pool.

Since Lez went to university I've been learning to live as a bachelor again during the week! I'm still working out a daily routine and adapting to a different lifestyle. I'm able to get to practice sessions at church worship group. I'm also playing the violin a lot more on Sundays. My cooking is improving. But washing up is still a problem!

The next three years will prove interesting for us both.

A & L

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Christmas 1996

Copyright © 2000 Lez Bullwer