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I shall have the chance to meet many of you personally in the coming weeks, but, in advance of that, let me offer my own introduction.
My wife and I shall be moving from Hertfordshire where we have lived for many years. It is a county that is often passed by on the way further north, as M1, A1 and M25, and major rail lines wend their busy way. We hope these will be good preparation for the A27!
We have walked widely in Herts, completing the 194 miles perimeter route, the Hertfordshire Way, with our bouncy dog. He is looking forward to some even better walking country within easy reach of Westbourne.
The other member of our permanent household is our cuddly and talkative cat, who is friendly to bigger beings (such as human visitors). We have had to leave our pondful of fish and frogs back in Herts.These are possibly well-rid of our dog.
Amongst hobbies, I play duplicate bridge to a good standard and also follow all sports. Whilst my own football team will now be a little further away, I’m intrigued to learn whether local sentiment favours Pompey, The Saints or The Seagulls! Finally, I enjoy quizzes and puzzles, verbal and number-based, and I have a rather sad taste in music of the 1970s and early ‘80s.
There are so many places nearby that we are keen to discover: large and small towns and countryside; coastline and hills; historic dockyards and wildlife attractions; cathedrals, historic houses and gardens… and these will no doubt be outlets for us when our children and parents visit.
"there are a great many opportunities for which we thank God."
It is hard to do justice to the enthusiasm we feel for this new appointment and fresh stage of our lives. We shall be seeking to throw our lot in with the people of Westbourne: to relish your company, share your joys and sadnesses, and for me to serve you with faith, kindness and integrity.
There are a great many opportunities, for which we thank God. Please take your own opportunity to make our early acquaintance, in Church or around the villages.