Sunday, December 27, 2009


Danielle and Maxim share a quiet moment at the beach on Utila

Hello, friends, colleagues and well-wishers! Thank you to those of you who were organized enough to send out your cards and letters before Christmas; we now reciprocate as best we can.

2009, as it was for everyone, was an up-and-down year for the Horwich and Bellenoue families -- more up than down. Maxim learned how to walk, is beginning to talk, and is shedding his diapers. And it was a year of family reunions. Benoit, Danielle and Maxim made a long-awaited trip to France to visit Ben's family in Paris, Orleans and Montpellier -- Danielle says she met 38 relatives of all descriptions, and her conversational French improved dramatically. Here are Ben

and Maxim in the garden behind his sister Agnes's house in the Parisian suburb of Houilles. And we all met in Orlando last month where, at Animal Planet, Disney presented a wide-eyed little boy with tigers, zebras, rhinos and gibbons. Nancy and Dick visited Utila once; Danielle, Ben and Maxim made several trips to the States.

Dick revealed to the world his secret life as a playwright. He has written perhaps the most uncommercial play in history: its title is The Merchant of Venice, Act Six, and its audience needs to be on speaking terms with the Shakespeare play to which it is a sequel, which rules out about 95% of potential playgoers. Nonetheless, it received a professional reading during the spring at The Naked Stage, an East End group that supports dramatic activities out here. In the picture below, Dick is reading stage directions; the actors are Melissa Hermann, Molly McKenna, Josh Perl and Joe Brondo. The next step would be a workshop; if anyone knows a small theater group that's looking for material, please have them get in touch!

Nancy is continuing to grow as a potter and has had several shows (with accompanying sales) this year: first, as a member of the Clay Art Guild in Water Mill and also as a student at the West Side Y in Manhattan. She is setting up a pottery workshop in our basement but also will continue her lessons with master potters Nancy Robbins in Sag Harbor and Outi Putkonen in New York City. "Learning something new at my age is a wonderful thing. Making money while doing it is miraculous." Here she is at a sale of her wares in Water Mill; above are adorable Smurfy bud vases of her creation.

And finally, we peripatetic Horwiches have moved from our tiny pied a terre on First Avenue and 100th Street to a larger, brighter, and infinitely more convenient apartment at 108 East 96th St. (10128 is the Zip), between Lexington and Park, handy to Central Park and the subway and buses.

All in all, as the song goes, it's been a very good year. And we wish everyone the same for 2010.


Nancy, Dick, Danielle, Benoit & Maxim

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