2 Mauldon Street,
1st December 2004
Happy Christmas and a Happy New year.
Greetings! Here we go again and another year older and I hope wiser. Summer has hit Canberra and the gardens are thirsty. Our spring rains came in good time and the spring flowers were beautiful. Our rain water tank is still half full and we hope for more rain some time in the next few days. We had a new visitor to our garden last week-end, a Long Billed Corella, a long way out of his territory.
In January, John and I went on a bus trip to Sydney and saw the Lion King show which we enjoyed immensely; the costumes were terrific and the music was great.
At the end of May we house sat for my sister, Colleen, who with her husband were going to Alaska to do the inside passage and the train trip to Fairbanks. Their house is at Sandstone point just before the Bribie Island Bridge; John took his computer with us as he was helping organizing the thirty-fifth reunion in Canberra for the landing on the moon. We had a great time at Colleenís watering their garden and spending a lot of time on Bribie Island, eating fresh fish and bike riding along the waters edge. I saw about 100 Little Corellas on the Island and when I tried to get Johnís attention, he was on the bike about 50 yards ahead of me I fell off into the soft sand. The couple having their lunch under a tree had a good laugh, when they saw I was unhurt. Near Colleenís house there is a flock of fruit bats that make a lot of noise all day. We had a boat trip on the Pumicestone Passage and saw Dolphins and Dugongs playing by the boat.
The best trip was to Moreton Island to feed the Dolphins. The Dolphins come into the shallow water by the jetty and wait for the hundreds of tourists to feed them. We saw quite a bit of Catherine, Michael and the kids and saw lots of old friends in the Brisbane area. On the way home we stopped at the Japanese Gardens at Cowra and enjoyed the tranquil setting and the flowing water there.
In July we had a couple from USA to stay for the 35th Reunion of Man on the Moon. Mike and John worked their butts off for the lunch, book launch, Jackie French and Bryan Sullivanís kidsí book, and a DVD of Honeysuckle Creek Station involvement in the Apollo missions, were all successful. Next day about one third of the visitors went up to the old Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station site where the snow lay on the ground and we finished off the cake; on to Tidbinbilla for photos in front of the Honeysuckle Dish and a nice lunch and a second cake.
Also in July, we had a visit from Catherine who came down to see her friendís new baby and to see our family.
In August I had two fingers on my left hand operated on and had a cast for two weeks and not allowed to cook or drive the car for two weeks. John had to cook under supervision but most of the stuff I managed to do one handed. My fingers are great now. We had my sister, Joan and her husband spend two days with us and we were able to show them a bit more of Canberra.
We went to Merimbula for our 39th Wedding Anniversary and had two great nights by the sea and no computer or phones. There is a great board walk round the lake at Merimbula and the high tide come underneath and the little fishes darting here and there among the sea grasses.
Hilary and co are well;
September, our eldest granddaughter Amanda was 18 and Hilary threw her a big
party and every one enjoyed playing table soccer and singing very loud music.
Tamara has her prom to-night and we are going to photograph her at pre-dinner drinks; Hilary is working at the hospital three days a week and is still enjoying it.
Penny and Terry have been working hard extending their house and working two jobs; Penny also is doing further studies. I get to baby sit quite often and the girls are very good. They both will be at school next year.
Catherine and Michael are still both nursing and now Michael is also on call for organ recovery on the East coat of Australia. Their kids are doing well and both families seem to get on when together.
Timothy and Sampson, the dog, are still at home and Timothy is still in A & E at the hospital and enjoying the work. He plays in Pool Competitions with his friends and they seem to win most of their matches. Next year they will go up a grade and may not do as well.
John was elected President of the PCUG, PC Users Group, in Canberra; big mistake, he is on the computer 10 or more hours a day, meetings every where, telephone calls night and day and getting abused; no pay; not the ideal retirement job. He is also fixing computers on the South side of Canberra as well as mine when I speak loud enough.
Hilary talked me into organising her photos, boxes of them, and then scanning the photos on the computer and to make DVDís for her and each of the girls. It has taken months, to find the right programme that my computer liked but now I have finished the DVDs; there is also music accompanying the slide show. Also, I scanned my and Johnís old slides on to my computer; it was lovely to see and relive old memories.
All of the kids except Timothy, early this year on holiday;
We are having a Christmas dinner with Penny and co on the 10th of Dec and we will be going to Hilaryís for Christmas day.
Hope you are well and have a happy Christmas.
Love, Betty and John
Back row: Terry, Penny, Hilary, Catherine, Samantha Hollis, Michael;
Middle row :
Andrew, Emma, Tamara, Chris Hollis, Amanda, Emily;
Front row, Rachel, Jessica and Samantha
P.S. Click any picture to see a larger version