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Xmas 2003


=== The Watson-Laird Gazette===

Christmas 2003

UK Registered as an Irritating Christmas Newsletter

Torrential Storms Rock SW London Town

Two weeks ago, tropical-style storms hit Teddington, resulting in rain damage to local homes.  Local couple Martin and Alice were making final preparation for a dinner party when rainwater started leaking into their kitchen.  Said Martin, ”It was truly awful, we were busy cooking enchiladas when Alice saw a damp patch appear, which quickly changed to a drip then a trickle.  I had no option but to send Alice up onto the roof in the heart of the storm to secure a tarpaulin. She was most intrepid.”  At press time builders are replacing the leaking roof.

Local Pair Holidays With TV Celebrity

Teddington residents Martin and Alice had a 10-day walking and beering holiday in the Derbyshire Peak District at Easter, staying on an idyllic farm Bed & Breakfast run by Simon Groom, former presenter  of children’s magazine TV programme Blue Peter. Said Alice, “It was amazing to be waited on hand and foot by someone who had been a childhood idol of mine.”

Alice also reports that she and her self-styled beer-hunter and ale gourmet boyfriend Martin were in a quiet country pub, and got talking to a like-minded couple.  The girl suddenly realised that she recognised Alice from a Nottingham swimming pool 15 years earlier, when they were both at university there. It’s a small world.

Local Librarian Becomes an Auntie

Alice, 36, well-known local Home Office librarian became an aunt for the third time, at the start of the year, when Celine, French-born wife of Alice’s brother James, 30, gave birth to a daughter, Esther, 0.  Esther is reported as anxiously looking forward to her first visit from Santa, having narrowly missed out last year.  Our best wishes go to the proud parents.

Travel News

Local puzzle collector Martin, and his long-suffering girlfriend Alice jetted off to Boston for a whirlwind week-long tour of Boston, MA, followed by ten  days  in  Chicago, where Martin attended the 22nd International Puzzle Party.  As in previous years, one of his designs, “Spinal Starcase”, was presented to 100 of the attendees.  While in Boston Martin and Alice visited every historic landmark in the city on the heritage trail, while staying at the Samuel Sewall Inn, near Fenway Park, home of the famous Boston Red Sox baseball team. 

After a quick change of footwear, so to speak, they changed their allegiance to the Chicago White Sox. Our intrepid travellers were very impressed with Chicago, situated on the western shore of Lake Michigan. They described Chicago as a city of many faces, from its streets lined with delightful displays of exotic flowers, its impressive architecture and pleasant coastal walks and parks. Friendships with like-minded puzzle  collectors  from  around  the globe were renewed during the visit.  See

Planning Applications

The house next door to Teddington residents Martin and Alice, and its neighbour are both being converted into two two-bedroom flats.  The 4 new properties are expected to sell for just short of £250,000.  Local residents Martin and Alice have had to put up with excessive noise and disruption for many months. Work next door began while they were abroad at the end of July (see Travel News), and is, according to a local workman, nearing completion.

Said Martin, “We hope our new neighbours have many of the skills which we normally expect to pay tradesmen for. Culinary ability would be an added bonus.”

Job News

Unemployment statistics just released show that unemployment in the Watson-Laird household is at an all-time high at 50%.  Last year’s Gazette reported that successful librarian Alice was about to be made redundant, but she stepped swiftly into a temporary role, before securing a new position with the Home Office, where she has met such luminaries as Sadie, guide dog to blind Home Secretary David Blunkett. 

As we go to press your reporter is delighted to hear that Alice is progressing well in her new job.  We wish her well. 

Sizzlin’ Page Three Bird

Local Girl’s Nephew In Maths Success

Christopher, 10 year old nephew of local Librarian Alice put two and two together and qualified for the next round in a national maths competition.  Christopher is reported as having said, “It just seemed to add up on the day.” Our congratulations to young Chris, who, it is reported has also recently started playing trumpet.  He must be from a musical family, as his younger sister Helen, 8, has simultaneously started playing violin.

Computer Geek’s Web Site Hits New Highs

The web site run by local IT guru Martin is regularly getting over 100 daily visitors, or ‘hits’ as they are apparently called. Unemployed Martin started the site as a way of displaying his extensive collection of mechanical puzzles.  From there it became a record of his life with partner Alice.

Says Martin, 46, “It has been a great way of presenting my IT skills to prospective employers, as well as getting me new email friends from all over the world.  My newest friend lives in South Korea.  We’ll probably never meet, but we can share an interest through the power of IT. It also allows family members and friends to share photographs.”


Parents Of Local Resident Celebrate 40 Years

The parents of Alice hosted a party in the grounds of their Surrey home in the summer to celebrate 40 years of marriage.  The happy couple was inundated with gifts from friends and family. Alice’s gastro-boyfriend prepared a lunch barbecue. 

Duo Visits Local Military Sites

Alice and Martin took the opportunity in the summer to visit the Royal Star & Garter Home for Disabled Ex-Servicemen on nearby Richmond Hill.  They told this reporter, 131, that it was very comforting that our former servicemen are so well cared for. During the same weekend they also visited the Royal Military School of Music, at Kneller Hall in Twickenham. Just as we went to press, they attended a gala carol concert by the School of Music Band, along with mayors from several London boroughs.


The staff and management of The Watson Laird Gazette would like to wish all their readers

The Very Merriest of Christmases and The Happiest of New Years

How many Festive words are hidden here?

(For advertising rates please contact the Press Office.)  AGB circulation figures exceed 25.

The Watson-Laird Gazette is set in 12pt Times New Roman. All copy is © 2003 The Editors.

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