The Banting "How To" Guide for 1992

How to see boats, a castle and a slide (all at the same time)

Phil and the boys in a street of historic houses in Bernkastel, Germany

On the street in Bernkastel an der Mosel

Adrian climbing some wooden steps in a park in Bernkastel, Germany, with the river Mosel in the background

In a riverside park

A riverside park in Bernkastel an der Mosel, Germany, provides this pleasant combination. We visited it several times during our two-week stay in the area, which also featured walks through the vineyards high above the river valley, visits to local animal parks and travel through immaculate towns and villages. We soon got used to Adrian's triumphant cry of "Boats!" whenever he saw the river; the highlight for him was a river cruise, where he taxed his parents' linguistic skills by choosing to play with a little French girl. Vive l'Europe!

How to learn a language

With his employer putting up the money Phil decided to do a German A-level at a local college. We came back from Germany two days before the oral exam - to fail after that would have been a bit embarrassing!

How to see Snowdonia

Phil used the following method. First go on holiday to Anglesey while recovering from a leg infection. When it doesn't clear up, go and see a local GP who, fearing a blood clot, will prescribe two days in the main hospital near Bangor. The picture windows in Tryfan ward give a quite magnificent view of the mountains. Another attraction is the bilingual menu cards, which are of great educational value - did you know that the Welsh for "mousse" is "mws"? However, we would really have preferred a good holiday...

How to make a lot of noise in church

Actually this is Phil's speciality - leading the Church Centre music group has taken a lot of time and effort, made easier by the fact that the other members are very good! Sadly Miriam has not been able to play in the group much this year, but is more involved in other church activities. Martin enjoys Scramblers (for 3-5's), especially learning songs, while Adrian is now out-growing the crèche, where he is actually one of the quietest children (thanks to some toy cars and a train set).

How not to find out what Martin did at nursery school

Just ask him in order to get a totally unreliable answer. Does he really hear a story about "a boy called Paul" every day? Does he really sing "I hear thunder" every day? We doubt it. Still, he enjoys it a lot and is getting more talkative.

How to find out what Adrian did at nursery school

He goes to a nursery called Sunny Corner one day a week and tells us about all his activities, among them "singing", "dancing in a circle", "drawing" and even "tidy-up time at Sunny Corner". He enjoys it a lot and could hardly get more talkative.

How to find out what's on television

Just ask Adrian, who recognises many of the daytime programmes and their presenters. He can even identify "Tassic FM".

How to see sunflowers in a sports hall at 2 am

This was only possible at the National Indoor Arena, venue of the Birmingham count, on General Election night. The sunflowers were worn by the Greens, totally upstaging the rosettes worn by the other parties. The TV cameras inexplicably concentrated on the winning candidates and their speeches. Next day: how to get back to reality.

How to say goodbye

Sadly we lost two close relatives this year, Miriam's father and Phil's grandmother, both missed by the boys as well as by us. There isn't really a right way to say goodbye, is there.

How to prepare for 1993

We very much hope that we and you may enjoy a peaceful and happy Christmas and every success in 1993.

More photos...

A river boat and historic buildings along a river viewed from a bridge

A view of Bernkastel across the river Mosel

Miriam, Adrian and Martin standing by a railing with the river Rhine and woods in the background

The Deutsches Eck, where the river Mosel flows into the Rhine

View of the river Mosel joining the Rhine which flows away into the distance

Another view of the Deutsches Eck

Adrian drinking from a can in a city square

Adrian shows that the British start drinking from an early age

Martin climbs on to the wall around a city fountain

Should I be doing this? Martin wants a closer look at the fountain

Martin looks out from a wooden play house painted in bright colours

Martin in a colourful house in the play area at Eifelpark

Miriam, Adrian and Martin standing next to a Luxembourg border crossing sign

A day trip to... where was it again? Ah, yes, Luxembourg

Miriam, Adrian and Martin standing next to a Germany border crossing sign with the river Mosel behind them

Homesick Germans need only to cross the Mosel to get home