Toasting to the Future in Singapore

2013 - A Year in Review

2013 Country of Living: England in LONDON!

It has been a quite eventful year with our finally purchasing a car (a Mini!) early in the year, my locker from Canada finally being shipped to me here in London (and the resulting sorting/disposal of stuff), a trip to Hong Kong/Singapore then later in the year the unfortunate passing of Mel's grandmother. During the Christmas holidays we also learned that Casper (our cat) has kidney disease (thank goodness for pet insurance, it has to be said).

Mel is now directing the London City Singers, a Sweet Adelines International chorus based just around the corner from where both she and I work. She is using her many years of experience singing in Sweet Adelines to help this small chorus succeed…


A bit of traveling…

  • March - Easter trip to Cornwall and stayed at Miner's Cottage in Liskeard
  • June - Brief trip to Bath when Mel had to visit her branch office for training
  • August - Visit to Hay-on-Wye (stayed at Hay Stables)
  • October - Visited Hong Kong and Singapore which was a lot of fun (see my Journal).
  • November - Unfortunately, Mel's grandmother passed away so Mel had a last-minute trip to Canada to visit her family (November 23rd to December 1st)
  • December - Early in the month I visited Isle of Wight by car (!) with my mother (staying once again at Bedford Lodge in Old Shanklin) including a visit to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway “Santa Special”

We also had, well, two visitors this year…

  • August - My friend from VSO, Christine, stayed with us overnight and we really enjoyed visiting. It was so good to see her.
  • October - My mother came to visit…but we were not here as we were in Hong Kong and Singapore! Thankfully…
  • November/December - My mother visited again for a few weeks on her way back to Canada after being in Zimbabwe and South Africa


It was yet another eventful year. We were able to do a lot including:



  • 2nd - London (Hammersmith) - Hammersmith's “String of Pearls” walk (Walking Tour)
  • 13th - London (New London Theatre) - Warhorse (Play) - Original production from the National Theatre. Amazing experience and very uplifting story.
  • 20th - London (BBC Shaw Threatre) - Unbelievable Truth (BBC Radio Taping)
  • 23rd - London - Open Cities' “Architecture on the Thames” Boat Tour (Boat Tour)
  • 25th - Slough (The Race Hut) - Race Car Simulation GP - I came in 2nd out of four of us!
  • 26th - London (Palladium) - Chorus Line (Musical) - Post-Show Q&A


  • 2nd - London (Ravenscourt Park) - Hammersmith “Free walking tour of Kelmscott Manor” (Walking Tour) - William Morris' house on the bank of the Thames. Very interesting.
  • 6th - London (Prince of Wales Theatre) - Book of Mormon (Musical) - A lot of fun though, shall we say, slightly controversial.





  • 1st - London (Trafalgar Square) - Canada Day with the Tragically Hip…who we only listed to for a few minutes…
  • 3rd - London (Harold Pinter Theatre) - Merrily We Roll Along (Musical)
  • 6th - London (Vaudeville Theatre) - Ladykillers (Play) - Really fun, if slightly morbid, play with terrific staging
  • 9th - London (Royal Opera House) - Tosca (Opera) - Amazing, always a treat to be in the opera house as well…
  • 12th - London (Hyde Park) - British Summer Time - Elton John (Rock Concert) - Sadly, Elton had to pull out due to illness so we received free tickets but were able to enjoy Ray Davies and Elvis Costello instead
  • 13th - Goodwood House (West Sussex) - Goodwood Festival of Speed (Car Show)
  • 25th - London (St Pancras) - Enterprise Search London Meet Up: Grant Ingersoll, CTO of Lucidworks (Talk)
  • 28th - London (Hammersmith) - Pre-opening visit to new branch of Wagamama in Hammersmith (Dinner) - Free meal in a rather nice location of Wagamama!


  • 8th - London (St James Theatre) - The American Plan (Play) - Interesting play about well-heeled Americans in the 1960s coming to grip with societal pressures and their personal desires
  • 11th - Mayfield (East Sussex) - Met up with a few friends from my VSO volunteering in The Gambia


  • 7th - London (near Vauxhall) - Wedding reception for Nat and Dan (from Steve's work)
  • 13th - London (West 12) - Aroma (Dinner) - All you can eat Chinese buffet in Shepherd's Bush


  • 5th to 19th - Visit to Hong Kong/Singapore
  • 27th - London (BBC Broadcasting House) - That Mitchell & Web Sound (Radio Taping)


  • 2nd - Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire (The Snow Centre) - Indoor Skiing Lesson for Mel (present from Steve for her birthday)
  • 6th - London (BBC Broadcasting House) - It's a Fair Cop (Radio Taping)
  • 13th - London, Holborn (Peacock Theatre) - Blam! (Play)
  • 15th - London (Yo! Sushi Camden) - Yo Sushi! Super Mega Party (Party) - We won a content for this free unlimited meal at Yo! Sushi
  • 22nd - London (Cambridge Theatre) - Matilda (Musical)
  • 23rd - London (Vue Westfield) - Day of the Doctor
  • 27th - London (Prince of Wales Theatre) - Book of Mormon (Musical) - Second visit this year, but this time with Mother


Reviews of the Year




Next Year

The year seems to be shaping up to be quite busy with my going to Japan for skiing in Nagano with my mother then we have the spring Sweet Adelines contest. Not sure about the rest of the year but we do have to save a bit of money…


Visit here for my review of 2012.