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Vol 1 Number 28, Dec 2023

The Year of the First Tangney Family Wedding, an Engagement

and the World's Warmest Year on Record .

Hello to you all ,
It's Christmas again and time to say hello to everyone far and wide and for the last number of years that involves most of our children as four are now living abroad.
But we had a short time together in March this year where all six were in Glasgow for James and Kendal's big wedding . What a great weekend it was and a fantastic celebration with all the extended family and friends and we now have another Mrs Tangney in our midst. yippee!!!

I have no doubt that Joe will give you an interesting account of the day but it was lovely and we had a ball. David arrived in from Dubai with Georgina on the Friday and had a Tangney brothers get together followed later by a family meal and then drinks for everyone in the Grosvenor Hotel.

The lovely news is we can now look forward to another family shindig in 2024 as Georgina and David got engaged in October. Its great news and delighted for them both. They are not home this Christmas but we will see them later in the year when more plans are made. Aoife finally has some girls in the family other than her mother and they are just lovely so here's to another Mrs Tangney.
Ronan is now the furthest away as still in Sydney but he is planning to travel to New Zealand soon and he will not be home this Christmas.


He has been teaching in Sydney and enjoys life and on an infrequent occassion will ring his mother. Ciaran has been to visit him in Sydney and tells me Ronan has settled in very well to Aussie life. He was home in March and it was lovely to see him looking tanned and with a streak of grey in his hair which his Nana has informed me is inherited from her.

Ciaran is home for Christmas and looks well and is now flat hunting in Perth Austrilia. He is working there since July this year but I am delighted to have him home for Christmas for the first time in five years. He has become a good cook and remains chatty, full of fun and is still returning to the southern hemisphere as the rain and short days have not enticed him back home.

Joseph and Rebecca are both working in Glasgow and the NHS demands appear to be ever increasing. However they are happy out in their lovely flat and we do get to see them more than the rest of the gang at the moment except for James and |Kendal of course.
Aoife is also away for Christmas again this year and has now left New Zealand and has been travelling the world this year.After her trip home in March she was in Costa Rica, San Francisco, Australia, New Zealand where she did another Ski season in Wanaka.

She has also been to Vietnam, Philipinnes and Japan where she is at present. I nearly forgot Aoife and Ronan also had a trip to Tasmania where they meet Esther and Mike whom we also got to see in June this year which was lovely.

We had a lot of visitors in 2023 many whom we had not seen for a long time It was fantastic to reminisce, catch up and remember our times together while in New Zealand with young children and we had great conversations, fun and laughter. Like the buses they all come together and we had 4 sets of visitors in a month each of whom we had not seen for 28 years since leaving Dargaville, New Zealand in 1995.It was great to see, Sue Arnold, Phillip Hopwood, Teresa Martinovich and Bert Hollings.

Joe and I travel back and forth to Ireland to see Nana Tangney who is amazing and will soon be 89 years old and in between Joe is writing a book for young GPs and Nurse Practitioners. He hopes to have it published in 2024.
We are certainly looking forward to another family wedding and getting all the gang together. All you need for Christmas is something you want. something you need. something to wear. and something to read!!! Enjoy !!
A very happy Christmas to one and all.

Wishing everybody all the best for the New Year and 2024.


Glasto comes to Glasgow

The Headline Act - James and Kendal's Epic Wedding

Yes the main news this year was James and Kendal's long awaited and much anticipated big day out.

The 11th of March 2023 was a day to remember for all of us but of course the preparations and excitement had begun much earlier. In fact once the news broke from the Blue Lagoon in Iceland on 5th of October 2021 the list of preparations had begun. The main item was Liz's outfit as inaugural mother of the groom which apparently must include an obligatory hat. In contrast Kendal's job was relatively easy.... just get a very long white dress and no need for a jacket or hat !!!So the search party got to work on Liz's dress and no shop or nation was left unvisited in the quest for the right outfit. Little did I know that finding the dress was just the begining. Then the accessories had to be found such as the shoes,the bag,the botox,the jewellery and of course the all important hat. The dress needed altering and I won't go into any more detail or we will be here all night. But suffice it to say the "oufit search" could best be decribed as a process like a very long overdue pregnancy which was not without it's moments of desparation and anguish until after what seemed like an eternity the outfit was finally finished or born ......Allelulia.....But the new arrivals celebrations were shortlived as the "wedding outfit review committee" added complications by giving 19 different opinions on the said "outfit" . So some late changes were suggested and thankfully the arrival of the 11 March ended the process. All is well that ends well and I have to say Liz's outfit was beautiful and worth all the effort in the end. Aoife was one of the three bridemaids and Kendal looked after their dresses but as Aoife was away in New Zealand the final fitting was when Aoife was back home a week before the wedding. James,the groomsmen and our the boys were easy as they just needed to hire similar kilts. I bought a suit in Killarney which took a full 10 minutes having spent 5 minutes talking to the salesman...reluctantly I must admit.......when it comes to wedding outfits it's easy being a man (but it ends there)!!

The Wedding Organising Team Worked Tirelessly Day and Night

Our Confetti Kitchen ..note the bottle of Bombay Gin.
The dining room is full of ribbons.
Inside the white cover is an outfit for somebody who is very very tall.

The wedding organisational team (James and Joe) were working non stop for months with the endless list of preparations before the big day. Liz was tasked with the drying hundreds of hand picked rose petals in our kitchen for over 3 months to make the confetti. Luckily our garden had a bumper crop of roses that summer and for the gardener readers they were the very best of roses (David Austin). So plenty of confetti was made and all sorted well in advance which was one of the easier jobs. Liz unexpectedly requested to join our management team to help James and myself and we kindly accepted her offer (as we both wished to live long enough to be at the wedding ) which was great as Liz then recruited Kendal and her mum Mandy. The team leadereship role slipped away from James over the weeks but us boys know that discretion is the better part of valour !!

One of the main jobs was to prepare the Pollockshaws Burgh Hall where the wedding ceremony was being held. Liz and Kendal made decorations for the hall which included coloured ribbons that were to be attached to the ends of the aisle seats which also matched the colour of the bridemains dresses . The central wedding arch needed decorating with flowers attached and Harris Gin lamps near the entrance helped with the lighting.Kendal's mum Mandy made beautiful centre pieces for all 18 of the wedding reception tables in Oran Mor which Kendal brought back from home. There are so many behind the scenes jobs to be done and nothing is a simple as it seems. But everything fell into place on the day much despite some last minute preparations.

The Pre Wedding Excitement was Rapidly Rising .


The wedding was similar to an international conference with guests coming in from all over the world. A large number of guests arrived from Ireland both North and South ,The Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, England, San Francisco, New York, Holland ,Australia ,New Zealand, Dubai and many other places. The first Tangneys back home were Ronan and Aoife. Ronan was home from Sydney where he has been since 2022. Aoife arrived back from Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand where she had been for over a year. Ciaran arrived in Glasgow from Greymouth New Zealand with Jorja on Thurs. David and Georgina arrived from Dubai on Friday the day before the wedding and only had the weekend due to work commitments. Joseph came up from Dumfries which is down near the Scottish Borders. So, Friday was a very busy day as guests arrived in from all over the world and got ready for the action packed week end ahead.

Birds of Paradise Flowers in the Botannic Gardens Kibble Palace Greenhouse
Cain says "I feel a hangover coming on already and the wedding hasn't yet started "
The Build up the Day Before
Team Tangney had now assembled and started warming up

There was an incredible buzz of excitement in the Grosvenor Hotel in the West End of Glasgow which was a hive of activity. Most of us stayed there as it was ideal as just across the road from the Oran Mor wedding venue. The other guests were mainly staying in nearby hotels and the Oran Mor is in agreat location as near the beautiful Botanic gardens and Byers Road which has lots of cafes and restaurants. The whole area was bustling with activity with locals and wedding guests all very busy on Friday and Sat.

There was a Tangney Boys farewell brunch for James on Friday and we went to the Hill Head Book Club. It was very enjoyable and as ever with the full team there was no shortage of family banter with no mercy being shown to James. Aoife joined us later and held her own ground easily as usual. She was trained at our kitchen dinner table and has a Master's degree in Sharp Wit which has been enhanced by her time working in Glasgow the home of Scottish banter. Beware that Aoife is blessed with her mother's good looks but has her father's bad wit ....what a lucky girl and a lethal combination !

In the afternoon Liz assembled a small team for the Burgh Hall decoration task. The "recruits" or should I say more accurately the "conscripts" were Aoife,Georgina and Jorja. Kendal joined them later and the hall was all sorted by 5pm. That evening James went out for a meal with his groomsmen and we went out for a family dinner in a local Italian restaurant in Byers road.Then back to the Grosvenor Hotel to meet Kendal's family and friends for a drink at 8pm. It was great to meet all of Kendal's relations whom we had heard about over the years but had not actually met including Kendal's lively granny. Everybody was in great form and as more guests arrived the pub was heaving . Needless to say we had a very talkative few hours with the large Irish and Scottish contingent and only a few of us were taking it easy on the drink as a busy day lay ahead. Others went for it and they shall remain nameless..aka Tangney boy number 3, say no more ! It was a great evening and a sign of things to come next day with a wonderful atmosphere of fun ,excitement and plenty of mischief in the air.

The Hillhead Bookclub Tangney Brunch
The Last Supper at an Italian restaurant in Byers Road

James and the three Emma Janes

Joseph and Ranjit are all smiles but Bernard and Betsy try hard to ignore Joe in the vague hope that he might just go away ... no such luck


The Festival like Air of Anticipation was Palpable

The Groomsmen had an early assembly in the Grosvenor Hotel bar.

The Groomsmen have a final dram with a soon to be no longer single James

Who is that georgeous young mum with the exquisite outfit ?

The newly decorated Pollockshaws Burgh Hall awaits the guests
Liz and John our neighbours

Aunty Helen ,Bernard, Joe, Anne Marie,

The hall is now filling up

Kerr (Best man) and Sean aka "Frenchie " wait patiently.

Kendal's glamourous granny, mum Mandy and the wee girls
James has just heard that Kendal has changed her mind!
Kendal arrives in full spendour
The two bridesmaids Emma Jane 1 and Emma Jane 2
Bridesmaid Aoife Kathleen Mary

Kendal and her proud dad Bert
David cheers up the guests

The Joy and Happiness in the Hall was Tangible on this Special Day .

The venue for the wedding ceremony was the Burgh Hall in Pollockshaws which is a multipuprose hall. All the decorations were in place since Friday and it was looking great as many of the guests started arriving about 1.15 for the 2pm start. Of course I made sure James and the groomsmen were there on time and a very clean car with ribbons does attract attention on the road. Calum was looking after the music with the help of Kendal's younger sister. There was a great feeling of excitement in the hall as all the guests arrived and met each other with plenty of chatting going on needless to say . The hall had a wonderful happy atmosphere as everybody who was there was delighted to be part of this very special occasion and celebration.
The ceremony itself was very relaxed and full of laughs as the celebrant Caroline was great fun.She has the "gift of the gab" and her strong Glasgow accent added to the hilarity. James and Kendal had told her the main reasons why they liked each other in a meeting before the wedding which Caroline then revealed at the ceremony and it was very funny. We all enjoyed the ceremony and James and Kendal were so obviously happy together and now married. Then out to the main hall door for congratulations and confetti shower.
Our great Highlander piper Sean Cameron was playing the pipes and the boys all looked dapper in their kilts.
It's hard to beat a Scottish wedding with all the kilts and pipes adding to the atmosphere.
Two buses brought the guests back to the Oran Mor for the reception. James and Kendal went to the Botanic Gardens for some photgraphs in the beautiful Kibble Palace glass house .

The Knot is now tied
Husband and Wife (at last)


Get yourself a man that looks at you like this!

All that confetti has come in handy
The VW Camper Van is ready

Happy Days for a Very Happy Couple

The wedding group outside Burgh Hall.

Botanic Gardens

The Atmosphere in the Oran Mor was just "Electric"

Glasto had definitely now arrived in Glasgow

The Oran Mor was just "pure electric" as all of the 180 reception guests arrived and met each other. Once the usual family photographs were taken and the guests were seated when Sean Cameron piped James and Kendal into the hall. There was a loud welcoming cheer as the lively crowd was warming up for an energetic action packed wedding. The slightly nervous top table had to now deliver their speeches which were thankfully well received. Liz had warned me repeatedly to "keep it short" in a very stern tone of voice ....for some unknown reason!! I complied with the restrictions imposed as I was keen to live longer and see the Scotland vs Ireland rugby match next day. The meal was delicious and the crowd was now definitely ready for the next stage of the wedding .......the all important dancing. More evening guests arrived and it was great to see so many people who had travelled from all over Scotland join us for the wedding dance and celebrations.
Quite a few guests were ahead of the crowd and had already warmed up for the dancing by making numerous trips up to the bar and once the band played their first cord the crowd were on the floor. Once James and Kendal had their first dance over the guests let rip on the dance floor and the bar. There was no going back from that point on and the dance floor was full all night long. The band "The Raggaels" were just fantastic playing a mixture of modern and Scottish ceilidh music. It was a just wonderful night and the entire energised crowd were on the dance floor. The night flew by in a flash and we had to leave at 2am . Fortunately we didn't have far to go and walked across the road to the Grosvenor Hotel. There was warm glow of contentment and we just had a fantastic wedding. There was of course the day after yet to come for the hardy guests.

The wedding was a true Irish and Scottish Hoolie and an absolute belter of a weekend.

The seating plan
The beautiful bridesmaids with Kendal
The Family Photos
The New Team Tangney
Proud Parents
Kendal's Family
The Tangneys
The 5 Groomsmen usual
"Teeney" (second on front left) can no longer contain his excitement
Alice,Alan , Kev ,Kerr, Sam, Iona
Release the captives now ...
Kendal, Sister Connie and Mum Mandy
Kendal has awoken from her trance and finds out she is now married ....the new Mrs Tangney

You Cannae beat a Wedding full of Scottish and Irish Party Animals !!


The Raggaels band were just brilliant and the Dancing Energy unleashed by the crowd lasted all night long (some of it was possibly fuelled by drink).

You simply had to have been there to feel the excitement,frenetic energy and joy !

The First Dance

Uncle Bernie makes James an honorary Kerryman

Time to cut the cake
Elvire draws the short straw and has to dance with Joe
Dan and Ali on the floor
James and Kendal strut their stuff
The Twins
Uncle Michael, Cousin Lee.
"Shortie" (sponsored by Tennents )gets into the swing of things
Baby Joe and aunty Helen elbow tap the night away

Holly (who is a wonderful cook) and Liz
Best man Kerr and lovely Emma.

Sam and cute wee baby Kai (all the way from Holland)

Rosie,Ruth and Brid

Kerr and Ewan step it out

David at high speed

Dancing the night away


On Sunday morning there were understandably a few sore heads around after the big day out. We went to a pub in Byers road called the Bag o 'Nails for some food and to watch the rugby as Ireland played Scotland in the 6 nations. There was a big crowd in the pub and Ireland won easily which cheered up the hung over Scottish fans !!. We were all exhausted from the hectic pace of the weekend and three late nights was taking it's toll on all of us. So we tip toed back to the hotel about 10pm shattered and some what subdued.

Annmarie,Emma,Philip and Bernie
Besties ...Ailsa and Aoife
Emma , Kirsty and Lindsay
Declan ,Dave and Joe (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from right to left.... obviously !!)
The Slattery Sisters (Martina is missing)
Cheer up Joseph ...time for home soon



Snow awaits our return to Fort William
Welcome Home dinner for James and the new
Mrs Kendal Tangney



Sun ,Sand, Sea .....Santorini

Yes, we all awaited for the bookies favourite to finally pop the question
The sun must have got to his head!!

Yes after much speculation especially during James and Kendal's wedding about which Tangney boy would be next to take the plunge the bookies favourite finally cracked on Sun 15 Oct while in Santorini. The intense sun possibly went to his head or maybe it was just the drink and David finally plucked up the courage to ask Georgina to marry him. Thankfully the answer was "Yes" and we are absolutely delighted for them both. Georgina is such a lovely person and we are looking forward to the big day in December next year. They are well suited and very happy together. Also both have lots of brothers and sisters to cope with.

David is enjoying his new job more this year as the early hard work is paying off as all the new sports academies are bedding in well. The early phase of any new project can be demanding but as more team members come on board David's job is now more manageable than it was a year ago. He is enjoying the challenge and learning lots of new organisational,business and management skills. Georgina is also very happy in her new school and recently awarded a promotion which is great news. Georgina is now teaching in Dubai which is ideal as previously she was working in Abu Dhabi which is about an hours drive away. David and Georgina were home during the summer and were at 4 weddings and thankfully no funeral. We enjoyed seeing David and Georgina when home and David caught up with his golfing friends for their annual competition in Nairn near Inverness. The big day won't be long coming and we are looking forward to the occasion.


David Le Bon and Georgina
Happy Days

Georgina starts making some lists...
Posh and Becks

Summer get together

North vs South annual competition in Nairn ...a draw
Beth Mead was out in Dubai visiting schools with David
Dubai golf competition


Georgina says "David have you hidden my hairbrush"
David on the rocks
Beach house
Penguins on Boulder Beach


Ronan has been working in Sydney for the last 18 months and enjoying the city life. He is staying with his Fort William school friend Ryan Campbell and fiance Shannon. Accommodation is both scarce and expensive in Sydney with few properties available for rent which seems to be a worldwide problem just now.
Ronan is planning on going to New Zealand some time next year and currently looking into the available work opportunities back in the country of his birth. Having a Kiwi passport is very helpful in both Australia and new Zealand as avoids the need for work permits which can be difficult to obtain. Ronan has while on holiday visited Melbourne,Adelaide and the Gold Coast.

Ronan was home for James and Kendal's wedding in March and visited San Francisco on the way back. Aoife was with him and they had a great time catching up with their first cousins Eanna, Cormac, Ian, Thomas and Colm. Liz's brothers Martin and Michael both live in San Francisco. Then Ronan visited the Philippines with some friends and also visited Tasmania where old friends Esther and Mike Thomson who live there for several years.


Ronan meets Skippy
Ronan, Shannon and Ryan all dressed up
Waterfall in the Phillipines
Waterfall polo ?
The first cousins meet in San Francisco , Cormac, Eanna , Aoife , Ronan

It's must be hard dealing with all that sunshine

Coles Bay Tasmania

Ciaran moves to Perth

In July, Ciaran moved to Perth Australia after living in New Zealand for over 6 years. Ciaran has a new job in the prestigious Guildford Grammar School as Senior Science teacher and has settled in very well. The job is demanding and Ciaran is enjoying the new challenge. He had a very happy 6 years in Greymouth and felt part of the rural community with lots of friends. However he felt it was time for a new challenge and move on. Perth has many Scottish and Irish people living there and has a population of about 2 million.

Ciaran was given a jade/greenstone Pounamu by his Greymouth teacher colleagues on his farewell. It brings peace, prosperity, good health to the wearer . It also provides the wearer with a safe journey through life and the wearer cannot purchase the pounamu for themselves.

Interestingly as Ciaran was walking down a street in Perth one day he saw the flagstone pictured above with Hollywood fame type accolade for Dorothy Tangney. She was a trail blazer politician who was the first female senator in the Australian Parliment which was no mean feat back in 1953. She must obviously be one of our long lost Tangney relations and her father was from Kerry same as most of the Tangney clan including ours. Strangely enough, she was famous for her long winded speeches in parliment which definitely confirms both her Kerry heritage and Tangney DNA. There is a district in Perth called Tangney and it must be the only city in the world where the name Tangney is easily recognised. Ciaran will search for our Aussie relations and hopefully I will have more news next year on the Perth Tangney family tree.

Unexpected fame for Ciaran

Storm Ciaran made headline news recently and the first time a storm has been called Ciaran.
The weather presenters had a few pronounciation variations for Ciar... aawn !!

Callum,Sayaka and Ciaran
The Wallinup River near Margaret River
Ciaran arrives back to Scotland in his Winter Wear
Home sweet home and Ben Nevis



Joseph runs a Half Marathon, Rebecca 10K

Skyline Series Loch Eilde Mor Trail

A Podium Finish for Rebecca

Joseph and Rebecca are the fitness champions of our families and on Sun 17th Sept they both competed in the 10 k race in Kinlochleven. This race was part of the Skyline series and there was a great atmosphere in Kinlochleven with hundreds of athletes participating in the races. Over 2 days there were several very competitive races including the 80k Ring of Steall, 28k ,20k and 10 k.
The start area was full of athletes who were warming up and getting ready for the race starts.
Also many runners were coming in to the finish area as the various races were on at different times.
We were absolutely delighted to hear that Rebecca had won 3rd place in the ladies section with an impressive race time of 1 hour 16 min. Joseph ran with Rebecca and he was 20 th out of 124 runners. It was not an easy race as it began with a 3K climb to begin the 10k race and many seriously competitive entrants.

On the first of October Joseph ran a half marathon in Great Scottish run with 20,000 other athletes and some were running the 10 K race . Joseph did a great time of 1 hour 33min and was not exhausted.

Joseph is enjoying working in Crosshouse Hospital as a Clinical Development Fellow in the Obstetric and Gynaecology Department. He hopes to gain a place in the specialist training programme next year and this is the the career he really wishes to persue so nana Tangney will be lighting more church candles again shortly.
Rebecca is now in her first year of the specialist training programme and wishes to become an anaesthetist.

They are both enjoying living in Glasgow and their flat is now very homely with all the improvements they have made over the last year.


Ready for their first 10k Skyline race
Fantastic result for Rebecca 3rd place

Podium finish for Rebecca
Milan Selfie Tourists
Rebecca touring around the small streets of Milan

Castle Stalker Sunset
Rebecca looking very chic

Aoife : A Big Year of Travel


Aoife has been busy travelling all year and here is her blog.
I had to pressurise her to do it by isssuing a threat that I would write it myself !!



Pamela and Aoife at Arenal Volcano

After James and Kendal's wedding in March it was time to make my journey back down under, myself and Pamela with very little money/organisation/planning decided to go to Costa Rica for just under 2 weeks. After around 16 hrs of flying we landed in San Jose where we then tried to navigate the bus system to get to our hostel. This was an absolute disaster with every bus that arrived would not let us on, eventually a wee old lady took pity on the 2 lost girls with their backpacks and showed us the right bus which was jam packed. Blindly hoping this bus was going the right way another lady took pity on us and told us when to get off, 2 hrs later we made it to the hostel. Everyone in Costa Rica was so friendly and we realised that if you look confused / lost enough some old lady will always help you out! From here we surprisingly had no real disasters and really enjoyed the Cloud Forests, active volcanoes and coffee/chocolate plantation tours. 


After some intense interrogation from the US Border Control to why 2 young girls were trying to come into America from Costa Rica we managed to get through. Costa Rica was more expensive than we thought so we arrived to San Fran with even less money than we expected. Thankfully Martin took us in and we were able to spend time with Michael and Mary and tour the city with Eanna and Cormac too. I really liked San Francisco and was really nice to be shown around by the family so thanks again to Martin, Michael, Mary and the cousins!


We flew from San Francisco to Sydney and from here I flew to Brisbane to jump straight into my 2.5 months of being a full time live in Nanny to a 5, 3 and 10 month year old. It had been a while since I had been an Nanny for a summer in France so was truly just hoping for the best and was the first job I could find with accommodation - which I've found is the hardest part when travelling - but thankfully I landed on my feet and got on really well with the mum. Looking after 3 kids was challenging at times and definitely put me off having kids for another 10 years but have a new found respect for mum and dad for putting up with 6 of us! I enjoyed my few months in Brisbane and had a lot of friends from home / New Zealand there so was able to make the most of my days off and visited Byron Bay, Noosa, Stradbroke Island and the Gold Coast. It was "winter" when I was there but hotter than our Scottish Summers which was nice to top up the tan before heading back to Wanaka for another winter season!

Aoife and Eilidh are travelling in style



June came around very fast and after some sad goodbyes to the family I looked after I was on the plane to Christchurch to meet Ciaran briefly before driving down to Wanaka. This season I was living in a house with 5 other lifties which was really fun and although the snow wasn't great, we still had plenty of fun. As spring came in Wanaka has so many hikes around that I made the most of before leaving New Zealand for the foreseeable. I was meant to be due back to work in Glasgow in November but decided heading back to a dark rainy winter in Scotland wasn't appealing to me so started to look into a winter season in Japan before heading back in March. I managed to land a job working in a lodge with Nathan through a contact in Cardrona and winter season number 3 was in the works. I celebrated turning 25 in Wanaka at Brewster Hut followed by a BBQ and beers by the lake with friends from the seasons, some more goodbyes before leaving the next day.

A Family Day out
The Cardrona Ski field team hard at work
Reaching New Heights
Brewster Hut
The IRN Bru Scottish team
Aoife's first Skydive in New Zealand
Yes it is exhausting work
Aoife proudly shows off her "Liftie of the week " award


Eilidh Moynihan and myself had talked about travelling to Vietnam and the Philippines on our way home to Scotland as we were both due back in November but now with my Japan plans I was working a lot and babysitting on the side to save up enough to manage to do this before heading to Japan. 

I flew to Melbourne and we spent a few nights travelling the Great Ocean Road before heading to Vietnam, after a very long night in the airport the first part of the journey to Kuala Lumpur was underway. We arrived very weary but everything was smooth so far until we were literally about to board the plane. Eilidh was in front and got through no bother and I was just behind when I got the dreaded "We can't let you board this plane", my e visa was still processing because there was an issue with my name and I had to resubmit a few days before flying so overtired and gutted I had to go collect my bag and figure out what to do next. 300 pounds later and putting my faith in a weird WhatsApp link for a visa on arrival I had a flight booked and was on my way there 24hrs later. Never will I mess around with visas again. 

The rest of Vietnam was great, we did the Ha Giang Loop with two of my flatmates from Wanaka and this was by far the highlight. 300kms of spectacular views on the back of a moped and karaoke every night in random homestays in the mountains. There was no mishaps here either until the last day when my driver ran out of petrol 8kms from the hostel, thankfully a random guy turned up with some petrol in a 500mls water bottle and we were back on our way. We visited Cat Ba island and travelled there by a sleeper bus which was probably the craziest journey I've had with 3 rows of tiny beds to sleep on. The look of dread from every poor 6 foot tall man when he realised, he had to fit in this tiny bed was priceless. Vietnam was beautiful and the people were so friendly would definitely recommend to anyone.



We flew from Hanoi to Singapore for a quick 24 hrs before heading to Manila. Singapore was really nice and such a clean city it was a nice change from Vietnam. We went to the gardens for the light show because it was free and we could not afford anything else in that country - maybe I'll go back when I have more money. We headed straight from Manila to Palawan Island and we got totally ripped off on our taxi ride from the airport (classic) but spent time in El Nido on the beach before doing a 3 day boat trip to Coron. This trip was great and we did a lot of snorkelling around all the little islands in the Philippines and then stayed in huts on the beach at night. Philippines was a beautiful country but very poor but the people couldn't be more friendly.




After backpacking for a month, it was time to head to Japan, I met Nathan and Ella in Tokyo where we spent a few days being big tourists which was fun. Ella headed off and myself and Nathan headed to Kyoto and Hiroshima which were both very beautiful places. The memorial museum for the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was very sad but super interesting. We then headed to Madarao to the lodge where we will be staying for the ski season until March, snow is coming down quick so should have plenty of powder skiing which will be great. 


Aoife and Nathan
Snow has arrived in Japan

The End (Sorry this is a pretty shocking blog but I left it very late and dad was threatening to fly over to Japan to force me to write it so here we are). 

P.S. Lots of good times travelling this year and a few disasters and no savings left but glad I've done i.t 

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and looking forward to seeing you all next March.





During the month of May this year Liz and her youngest (baby) sister Teresa spent 3 days walking in the Burren, County Clare in Ireland and they were very lucky with some great dry weather. They stayed in Ballyvaughan a beautiful village and both enjoyed some of the many daily walks in this beautiful part of Ireland which has unique flora and fauna due to the limestone base.The Burren has 23 of Ireland's 27 native orchid species. It is designated by the European Union as a Special Area of Conservation and also a UNESCO Global Geopark Then Liz went to Limerick to meet her nursing friends in Mary's house and had a catch up on all the news home and abroad.Ger Hoban is the only one who wasn't there as she lives in Australia and the girls enjoy meeting up at least once a year.
As ever there are plenty of family events going on to discuss such as weddings .
Jane,Teresa and Liz climbed Ben Bulban in Sligo in Oct as part of their training for Everest next year. Liz has been running the local Park Run during the year and has completed 22 so far this year. Liz and I are out for a walk almost every day so our fitness levels are much better this year.Exercise is definitely the key to good health and we enjoy walking regularly.

Liz in the Burren
Teresa has summited the Burren (75m)

Liz has always said "We are a very close knit family"

Liz has been knitting or more correctly I should say crocheting lot of hats and head bands all year long.I have lost count of the number at this stage and some of the readers of this newsletter may have been the lucky recipients. There is a wide variety of styles and colours and all ages are catered for, so put in your request and Liz will have a hat ready for you in about 10 min. In between watching murder mysteries and crochet videos on You Tube Liz is very busy finding jobs for me to do. I won't elaborate on this job creation for the retired husband which is a bad habit which is a hot topic world wide so let's leave it at that for now. But, I must bring to your attention that there is a more serious matter than the "wee list" of jobs. It is the large number of Murder Mysteries that Liz is now watching for several hours a day is a cause of serious concern for me and the who dunnit will be easy if I am to unexpectedly or mysteriously pass to the other side !!

Dr Finlay Wild easily won the Ben race again for the 12th time but Liz warned him she is doing the Park Run every Sat so Finlay watch out next year !
A very stern looking new
gate collector at the Fort William shinty pitch.

Ben Bulben in Sligo

The Ben Bulban team selfie
View from the top

Out for dinner with Mike and Esther in June

Georgina has chosen a hat from Liz's large winter collection.

Lovely lunch in Port Appin with John and Dot

The Slattery sisters (Jane is missing )



Orange King Poppy , Borage and Sweet Peas
Lady of Shalott Roses
The garden in June with sunshine
Eustacia Vye , Lady of Shalotte and Gabriel Oak


Some of our very many Visitors in 2023


Coco and Annie from France
Annie, Linda,Domi,Yves and Coco

The Mad Hatters from Tasmania

Esther and Mike from Tasmania

Betsy and Ranjit

Teresa from New Zealand is reunited with her stain glass gift after 28 years.
Team Glynn's inaugural visit to the Highlands Chris joins us for dinner
The Coughlans annual visit Wee Fiadh and Niki
Kirsty and Bert from Cumbria Ted and Mary
Jan is up for her 70th party Fergus and Ivan
Darren and Sue from Victoria ,Australia
Toby and Rachel
Billy, Mike and Ellie Maeve ready for the Ben Kirsty,Teresa and Liz

High Street Team Reunion

The Tasmanian Thomsons