Milnes Family News – Christmas 2020

Lunch time at the beach house in Mullins Bay – 2nd March 2020


What a strange year. I hope you have all come through it relatively unscathed. Despite the various lockdowns we managed to get out and about quite a bit (it was all a question of timing and distancing!) Here are some of our photos from the year – hope you enjoy them.

Let’s hope that 2021 is better!

Heather x

We haven’t seen so much of Ben this year as he has spent most of it self isolating in Windsor (where he lives and works). He did come home for his birthday in February and Cinnamon was very pleased to see him.

At the Life Lessons festival – that’s Bill Bryson sitting at the table!

After the usual start of the year with work and normal routine our first highlight was in February when we voluteered to help at the first ever Life Lessons Festival which was held over one weekend at the Barbican Centre in London. We saw lots of interesting speakers including Alain de Botton, the Rev. Richard Coles and Bill Bryson.

We were home for only a week before going away again – luckily just before the Coronavirus started to spread. We went to Mullins Bay on the west coast of Barbados where we had a lovely week with Matthew, Sophie, Callie and also Sophie’s parents, Julie and Paul.

On the first day we went down to the local mobile fish van and had take away fish and rice for lunch – surprisingly tasty!


Just a couple of weeks after we returned from our holiday we went into lockdown. My work at Kingshill School and Martin’s work driving coaches and playing in the Curious Little Big Band were put on hold but I did continue online with most of my piano teaching. We tried to do a few interesting / different activities: here we are having a sushi lunch in the garden made with a cookery set that Ben bought for Martin last Christmas. It was very nice!

I made some bunting out of scraps of material that I have collected over the years and did some long walks – having time to sit and watch the sunset by a nearby lake on 23rd June.

We managed to get another short break in during July when we, once again, joined Matthew, Sophie, Callie, Julie and Paul at Bransgore in the New Forest. Although the summer was generally warm, the week we had there was a bit chilly…grrr.

Martin has taken up cycling long distances this year and now undertakes many journeys by bike that he would previously had taken by car including several trips to Wootton Bassett to visit his dad, John, and Kathie for coffee in the garden. Here they are on VE day:

Like everyone else we have had to do do much more of our socialising out of doors this year. So wine club was on the patio with two tables joined together so that we could all sit far apart. And after tennis coffee mornings also moved into the garden (and latterly onto the playing fields as meeting in gardens is now also not allowed):

In the autumn we had a new Monday routine as we formed a bubble with Matthew and Sophie in order to go down and look after Callie on Mondays whilst they go out to work. They moved house in September, so now have plenty of space for play and a great play park nearby.

We were lucky with our timing again in October as we managed to fit in a short holiday to Shropshire for a bit of walking. We were near to Church Stretton and the Long Mynd and did a couple of lovely walks – one to the Lightsprout Waterfall in Cardingmill Valley and one up to the top of Caer Caradoc. We got home just in time for the next lockdown.

It has been a bit cold and dreary during this second lockdown, but on a positive note, we are now allowed to play tennis again and go for walks with friends. Mum and dad and myself have been meeting up for weekly walks and it has been quite nice to visit some places which we would not normally go to. In the summer we went to Buscott Park and last week we went to Cirencester Park – both with interesting sculptures:

Hope you have enjoyed seeing some of our pics.

Looking forward to hearing some of your news and wishing everyone all the best in 2021!

Lots of love from Heather and Martin