So 2013 is almost at its end. Andrew and I are partying at home, with a dog who is scared of fireworks....brilliant!

We were chatting over dinner about some of our highlights of 2013 and, in no particular order, here are the top 10 events:

1. Watching Les Miserables at the cinema.
2. Celebrating John's 30th birthday down in Chippenham.
3. Renting the house in the Cotswolds for a week.
4. Celebrating Mummy Bev's 50th birthday with all the family.
5. Macintosh turning 1!!
6. Camping in the Peak District - Macintosh's first tent experience.
7. Celebrating Daddy David's 70th birthday in Norfolk and renting a boat for the day.
8. The big Majorca holiday with the Keble clan (especially Ben's sunburn!)
9. Spending Christmas back in Dunstable with the family.
10. And possibly the most life changing event....

...finding out we are moving to California in 2014!!

So Sayonara 2013, we'll see you in 2014!

A & H


For Christmas we gave Macintosh a Santa toy. He loved it! 

It had rope legs, a squeaker in its tummy, a sticky-out nose and moustache and a wobbly Santa hat. To Macintosh it was the greatest toy ever! If you squeaked it then he would come running, full pelt, from any other room just to play with Santa. He would throw it up in the air and catch it. He would play tug-of-war with it. He would sit and chomp on him to make him squeak. He was in love with this toy. We fully expected Santa to die by the end of Christmas day...

Amazingly Santa is still alive!! He has an impressive list of injuries though. His nose and moustache were pulled off. His shoes were chewed off. The bobble on his hat was chewed off and holes made in the hat. His beard has been separated. He has nicks on his arms and legs in various places. Finally his legs were pulled out of his body numerous times!

Here is Santa now. 

He may not look as pretty as he once did but he is still a form of Santa and to Macintosh he means the world. He would be devastated if Santa died. So Santa we hope you live on until 2014.....thank goodness its only a day away! 



Thank you ever so much for your support, we are overwhelmed! Today we reached the grand total of 5000 page views and its still climbing.

We really appreciate you reading the blog and keeping up-to-date with all that is happening both on this side of the pond and stateside. We are looking forward to sharing the next steps of our adventures as Andrew goes back across in January and as we begin to pack up our life here in the UK and box it all ready to ship out. Although 5 months sounds a long time away it's amazing how fast time flies and before we know it we will be living in sunny California.

So we hope you keep on reading, praying for us too if you are the praying kind and generally enjoying our adventures! We would love to hear from you too so feel free to use the comments box. 

Lots of love
A & H


Andrew has been teaching me how to use our new camera. Its a bit more hi-tech than our last one and takes some stunning photos. Its amazing what it can do and I'm looking forward to getting to grips with it more. 

Here are a few shots I've taken so far. My model willingly posed too!


Merry christmas again, hope you all had a good day too. We had a great christmas day with the family. Its so good being home to share the day, and yes mac had the best day ever with so many people and so much wrapping paper to play with. I must say though it has been freezing here but its a small cost to being with my family. Here are a few of the photos of the day. More to come.


Mac playing with Mr Santa, one of his christmas presents. Amazingly Mr Santa only lost a shoe during the day!!

The food!! Yum!!

Mum filling the plates, Top Chef!!

One scary christmas photo of the dog

Nice lil aircraft in the corner on the Keble tree!


Merry Christmas from the Woodruff family!



Well on this wonderful Christmas week we have a feel good Macintosh Monday. Yesterday Andrew arrived home from Florida. I went to pick him up at Heathrow and then drove him back to Dunstable where we are staying with family over Christmas. Knowing that Mac hadn't seen him in months and had been very confused whenever he heard his voice over Facetime I thought it would be fun to photograph the reunion. 

Macintosh was thrilled at Andrew's return but wasn't really sure what to do. He jumped up at him before running away then ran back and repeated it all over again. He was overall very excitable and spent quite a while sniffing Andrew's trousers and bags, just so he could suss out exactly where he'd been. 

Enjoy the photos! (They were taken with the new camera!)


So I finally finished work today and cant really believe its Christmas already. This evening has been dedicated to sorting everything out between stuff I'm leaving here and stuff I'm taking home; then trying to get that all in one bag! This includes all the candy in the world which has mysteriously found its way into my luggage.

Packing up my Christmas tree was an emotional moment,  although that may be because I was listening to Verdi's Requiem. Yes I know its odd but when I need to chill and get stuff done Verdi and a cup of Earl Grey are perfectly suited to help. Ok Hannah yes you know that I mean perfect as in I do a bit of sorting, I daydream a bit, I do a bit more, I doodle a flying boat onto my clip board etc...etc...

Then I discovered I can take high speed video on the camera and edit it into slow mo on my iPad. What a brilliant distraction and a good two hours got wasted when I was supposed to be packing. Oh well. Sometimes changing habits is as slow as a glacier.  

Packing is now 95% complete and the rest can wait till morning although its probably more like 75% because I wont have thought about something important. Well work sent me out here in the full knowledge that I'm dangerous without my wife's immediate on hand assistance so they will just have to deal with it.

So on Wednesday I popped down to the local armament and aircraft museum just outside work and had fun playing about with the camera and got some cool shots. The museum was mostly outside  and had quite a range of aircraft but missing a seaplane or flying boat, quite unforgivable to be honest but I will look over that fact just this once. Come on they must have had some flying boats at least visit, especially with the lakes around here, they are perfect stop offs. Anyway, I digress...

Here are some of the photos I took on my visit, enjoy.



Last day of 'work' and trying to sort out my packing, don't want to do it too early! So here is number twenty from Hannah for the advent calendar.



Little bit of back dating! Funny how I forget to post these numbers sometimes but never forget to eat the chocolate on the day its intended. Very interesting, maybe a sociological thesis in that! Here is the big one nine.




Yup, its officially here, the Christmas holidays have arrived!! In just 3 short days (well maybe 2 by now) I'm going to be heading down to Heathrow to pick up Andrew and then we'll be beginning our Christmas celebrations. :) Its all rather exciting and has got me thinking of the things I'll enjoy the most. 

1. Being with family and friends. 
Its great to be able to get together and spend time with those you love, especially family that you don't get to see all the time either. 

2. Foooooood!
I'm going to be eating so much yummy food, especially as Mummy will be cooking! I'm not a fan of turkey but the mince pies, pigs in blankets, chocolates, cheeses, puddings and everything else will be devoured at a rate of knots! 

3. Dog walking.
It'll be so nice having Andrew back to go walking with. Sometimes being out in the freezing cold is depressing when you are on your own. Macintosh needs ALOT of walks so to have someone to talk to and share those walks with will be lovely. If it snows then that's an added bonus! 

4. Book reading.
Having the time over the holidays to read books is just amazing. I always start off a term reading lots but as school progresses and life gets busier its harder to find the time to read. So being able to chill out and finally finish Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' will be lovely! 

5. Movie watching.
When we were kids Mum used to buy a radio times and we would argue about who would be the first one to read through it. The reason we wanted to read it was to find all the good movies and TV shows we could watch and highlight/circle/initial them. It was our way of booking the TV. I believe Mum has bought a radio times again this year, so on Saturday I will be there pen in hand ready to choose the movies I will watch and snuggle up too! 

6. Sleep!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I don't get enough term time. I intend to get lots this holiday!

7. Celebrating God.
Last, but by no means least, I'm excited to celebrate God and what He did in sending His son to Earth as a tiny baby. It was an amazing miracle birth and the reason Jesus came to this world is just mind blowing - He did it for us! I think that is worth celebrating and I intend to thank God for that precious gift. 



Here is number 18. Its Andrew's photo. It comes from a museum he visited. Its apparently from a B52 bomber. 

There's not long left to go now, which is probably a good thing as we are both beginning to run out of photo options! Plus it means that Andrew is home soon. Whoop!



Here is number 17. Yesterday was supposed to be the final wings eating contest before going home, however this had to be called off though as Harry T's kitchen closed before we finished. I guess it was just a practice ready for the challenge in the new year. I must say that the other contenders didnt' think much of the forty wing challenge till we had twenty today, now they are a lil worried. So we shall see who is wing champion after we have recovered from all the christmas food!



On Saturday Macintosh made a new friend whilst out walking. His name was Granville! What an insanely good name for a dog. He was an adorable springer spaniel pup who had masses of energy.

We met them wandering round near the officer's houses on the green so we were able to let them off lead to run about. Granville was pretty fast but not a patch on Macintosh. At one point they were running rings around us owners stood talking. Mac was on the outer loop running full pelt, tail between legs and tongue hanging out. Granville was on the inner loop going at a slower pace but thoroughly enjoying it. With all their play they managed to tire themselves out completely which was a bonus for us! 

Whilst the dogs were playing myself and the other owner had a chance to exchange puppy stories. Granville is only 6 months old and is their first dog. She was a little worried about some of the aspects of puppyhood and what was normal. After establishing that Macintosh isn't normal (!) we discussed some of the niggling worries she had. I think she left feeling relieved that it wasn't just her dog who did bizarre things! We swapped numbers too so that we could arrange more playdates and tire the dogs out. In fact it was such a good playtime for Mac that he slept for 4 hours afterwards!

As I was looking at Granville I was reminded how cute the puppy stage is and yet how quickly its all over. Many of you will not have seen any puppy photos of Macintosh so I thought I'd share a few of my favourites from the earliest days. 

This was the first photos anyone saw of Macintosh. It was taken about an hour after we got him home. He just fell asleep, completely exhausted.

He was a chewer, right from the word go! Incidentally, can you see how his eyes look so dark, like he's wearing eye liner! 

This was taken in the first week we got him. He still stands up near the washing machine, except his head reaches up onto the counter and he tries to lick our dirty plates. 

Andrew bought him this pheasant toy. He thought it might inspire Macintosh to become a hunter. All it did was encourage him to rip toys into the tiniest pieces.

This last photo is the first walk Macintosh went on. It was the slowest walk ever as he sniffed and sniffed and sniffed! We didn't go that far at all, but he loved it. We've since been back there and he still loves those woods, although we have to walk a lot further to tire him out. 

So there we go, Macintosh as a tiny puppy. He was adorable. 


This is another hand drawn number from me taken with the new camera. I will stop talking about it soon I promise.

Final week of work and a little bit of panic shopping, all sorted by the time I get home hopefully. Sorry Han, last minute I'm afraid or at middle school I had the phrase 'Tight Schedule!'



So on Saturday the new camera I ordered came in, though they said it wouldn't arive till this coming Wednesday so I was ridiculously pleased! So eager was I to test it that I only gave it a lil charge before heading out to Santa Rosa for it then to die on me. But here are a few early photos taken and hopefully many more (higher quality with practice) ones to come. Oh and it came with different simulated film options including black and white which I am using alot, I'll do some more colour photos next time, sorry.



As many of you may have heard of the death of Peter O'Toole today, I felt this news deserved a tribute here to the movie legend. Lawrence of Arabia is one of my favourite films, with its incredibly long shots, honest story line and a film theme that just carries you away (What an overture! It's almost considered a national anthem by some people groups)
If you have never seen it then go watch it now, both halves, and tell me what you think.

Heres the some photos to enjoy.