Why (to take last things first) Luxembourg? Because Pam'n'Alan have notched up (between them) more than half a century of living in Luxembourg. Pam came here in 1973, just after the UK joined the then European Economic Community; Alan arrived in 1982, fleeing the headsman's axe in the shape of a redundancy notice from ICL. Circumstances (oh, all right then, the local AODS) brought them together in 1986; the long expected explosion due to the resulting critical mass has still not happened. Yet. (that's a joke, dear, I said a JOKE <runs away very fast>).

And why Sarum? The short answer is "that's the name of our house". But it's called that because of the many memorable experiences we have had singing in voluntary choirs in Salisbury Cathedral over the years. The cathedral has a very special place in our affections. A (rather loose) connection is that Pamela used to work in the Beeb's religious broadcasting department for Stewart Cross, who later became the Bishop of Blackburn. He wrote a hymn, "Father, Lord of all creation" to the tune "Abbot's Leigh", which was written by Cyril Taylor, sometime precentor of Salisbury Cathedral, who was also at one time deputy head of the Beeb's religious broadcasting department...

Read more about the history of the house

About ourselves

After a brief and inglorious career as a professional horn-player, Alan re-invented himself as a computer programmer, working for ICL, where he spent ten years writing hardware test suites for 1900- and 2900-series computers. After moving to Luxembourg in 1982 to work for Systran Instutut GmbH, he took a post with the European Parliament in 1984. He became the (nearly) onlie begetter and chief dogsbody of the Parliament's internal translation management system, known as Gepro (from Système de Gestion de la Production). The application server and all of the supporting logic in the last version for which he was responsible was written in Perl, which is, in his opinion, one of the best, if not the best, programming language in the world. This was not the view of the strongly Micro$oft-oriented Direction de l'Informatique et Télécommunications, but as Alan was there first (Gepro started in 1985, the DIT emerged from the primæval slime was constituted after a complicated call for tender in 1990), he had the edge for twenty years. He's trying very hard to embrace PHP, but Perl still has the edge... It is (obviously) not possible to link to the Parliament's internal sites, but a suitably emended copy of the then Gepro explanatory page is here. The latest version of the EP's translation management software was still being developed when Alan took early retirement at the end of August 2006. He thought the powers that be would negotiate over his preferred leaving date, but no, that didn't happen. He thought there might have been some consultancy work when it was found that the existing system would have to run beyond the end of 2006, but that didn't happen either. Obviously his documentation was too good... Be that as it may, he is recovering, as far as possible, the skills he had as a professional musician forty and more years ago. The only way is up.

Pamela is "just a housewife" with all the strengths and talents implied. And for fifteen years she also ran a successful one-woman secretarial agency, which paid for one of the cars, and all of the computing and other office equipment. She ceased trading because, when tribes of Huns, Goths and Vandals, thinly disguised as grandchildren, appeared in the next village and latterly just up the road, she found that she was simply working to pay the accountant's fees.  

Despite living in an area which is itself a holiday destination (at least for the Netherlanders, who think a mound ten metres high counts as a hill) we do go on holiday ourselves, from time to time.  This page contains links to gallery pages describing some memorable holidays, as well as other items of interest.



Despite some later differences of opinon, we owe the Royal School of Church Music a great deal, particularly for providing the opportunity of singing in Salisbury Cathedral (prima inter pares) and others, under some of the best directors of church music in the land, and for providing the tuition needed to get the best out of our voices.


Our chaplaincy in Luxembourg is part of the archdeaconry of northwest Europe in the diocese of Gibraltar in Europe. The various choirs come together at least once a year for a knees-up Choir Festival which is usually directed by a prominent church musician from the UK. The 2013 festival, for example, was directed by Matthew Owens, Organist of Wells Cathedral.


This is Pam's daughter's website, which supports victims of domestic violence. She has 'been there, done that' (or, rather, 'had that done to her') and this is her contribution to the effort to rid the world of this evil. Not easy reading, but, I think, necessary.