At the bottom on the left is an alphabetical list of the pages in this web site, to help you navigate if you feel so inclined.
A guide to our family photo album covering 1994-2010, showing the principal themes, is here.
A year by year guide to our family time-line from 1994 through 2007 is here.
A photo journal beginning in 2008 is here.
The most recent pages of the album, copies of posts from my WordPress family blog, http://ianstock.wordpress.com/, are linked here:
http://www.zinzins.net/disneyland_weekend_2011.htm, http://www.zinzins.net/peace_train.htm, http://www.zinzins.net/manutd_v_barca.htm, http://www.zinzins.net/xmas_&_alex_birthday.htm.
2009: another decade done
Here we go again, our annual update sent to friends and family at the end of the year for the Holiday Season.
Happy Holidays everyone: it’s time for the annual update!
February brought our first great event of the year, Laura and Damian McClarin’s wedding on Coronado Island just across the bay from San Diego.
This was a February wedding, but you wouldn’t have known it: the sun was out and warm and the scenery was almost as beautiful as the bride.
Laura is Ian’s niece, who was born and raised in England until 1987, when she moved to California with the rest of her family. She and Damian are well on their way to Sue and Derek’s third grandchild (we’re jealous!), following on from Courtney and Antony’s Dylan, born on May 22.
Janet (www.purelycaptivating.com) took the amazing photo on the left at the wedding. Love those kids!!
We were all invited to the wedding, for which we were very grateful, because we know that by sheer weight of numbers we are a bit of a burden at such a time. The reception tends to be priced by the person!
We all stayed together on the island, and Antony helped us out by entertaining Daphné, Nick and Alban both evenings. We did ask what they had been doing with their cousin, but the response was far from clear!
This lovely weekend gave us some of our best family photos ever (two here), missing only Tom, who spent another year living with his mum in Paris and studying at music school. He works as a teacher’s aide to supplement his income from playing guitar, and on August 8 played his first concert, a solo that brought him about 90 Euros, over $100! Here is a photo taken of him during the concert.
He may be a long way away, but he sends us videos of himself playing and singing, very well on both counts, and lyrics of the songs he writes. We have a couple of his songs on the iPhone!
Tom feels closer than he is because of our high-tech contacts with him, but we needed his month-long visit in September. He has taken the stage name “Thomas Arlo,” his christian names, and has a fan page on Facebook if anyone’s interested.
Daphné announced during the fall that she was going to move to Tahoe for the ski season, and she’s already there!
The first powder was in early December, she recounted gleefully, and there are already two foot of snow around the lake (which is at an elevation of over 6000 feet). In short, she got what she wanted, a skier’s paradise.
She made contact with other young people planning on spending the season there, found and arranged to share a rental house with them, and even found a job waitressing, all before moving there! This is what being young is all about.
We hope it’s a great year for skiing, and needless to say we all are planning to visit!
Nick spent most of the year programming for Apple. He started in March, and has already played a significant role (lead coder) in redoing the inventory management system for Apple stores nationwide.
He is earning (after adjustment for inflation) close to what Ian earned after graduating law school. Eek! This does prompt questions about the value of secondary education. Nick has even had the good fortune to find an appreciative boss who looks after him. In short, he has a great job.
Alban continues his focus on local Santa Cruz culture.
A collection of skateboards was lined up on a coffee table in his room. Upon closer review, the skateboards turned out to be the coffee table, a do-it-yourself affair that he had made by screwing the boards onto a frame. Charlie said “cool,” and immediately asked for the table to be moved to his room.
Having visited his dad in Paris with Daphné during the summer, Alban is now talking about going to live with him in the New Year. Being 100% fluently bilingual (with no accent in either language and we are NOT jealous!), he thinks that he can find a better job there. Any job is better than none, Alban! But, again, you’re only young once, and he assures us that he’s having a great time.
Charlie and Alex are spending one year together in middle school, Charlie in eighth grade, his last year there, and Alex in sixth, his first.
At 14, Charlie is picking up some of those adolescent traits that we learned to treasure in his older siblings, and at 11 Alex takes great pleasure in emulating his big brother. No more little kids in our house!
Charlie had a lot of fun playing soccer for his school team, and is now taller than his mother. Alex got straight As, including 2 A+s, during his first semester at middle school, and has moved from the violin to the mandolin (same finger placement) to the guitar. We have two guitarists in the family: YES!
Ian bought an RV during the summer despite the drop in his revenue during the year.
Boys need their toys, especially as the years go by! This one is a Westfalia that sleeps four in a mere 18.5 feet long and fits easily in beautiful spots like Yosemite and Big Sur (dawn on Nacimiento Road by Big Sur). Camping should include a diesel heater and hot and cold running water!
Marie-Hélène soldiers on, confronting with courage the task of educating an entire family.
Ian recently took his shirt off while hanging Christmas decorations. She reminded him that when Queen Victoria visited Egypt to inspect newly-discovered pharaoh’s tombs, Egypt being one of the hottest countries in the world, the explorer who had made the discovery asked his Queen for permission to remove his jacket. Her Majesty refused.
“Yes, dear, and your point is?!”
At one point during the summer, after Charlie had been out on his first date, his father decided that it was time to raise the age-old question of the birds and the bees.
During an evening visit to Charlie’s room, Ian ventured delicately, in the middle of an unrelated conversation, that perhaps Charlie might be interested in a little advice or counsel on the subject of “dating.” That’s a wonderful word for bringing up the birds and the bees without embarrassment: dating. Charlie looked at his dad with a smile playing on his lips. “Don’t worry, dad,” he replied in an amiable manner, “I’ve got people.”
Right, good, yes, “people,” and off strolled dad.
One needs to know one’s place in this world!
As we do, each year when we look back and share our little anecdotes.
Our place is a very thankful place, surrounded by so many blessings.
May you share our good fortune this Holiday Season and in the New Year!
Listing of Pages in the Site
. . . with Alban