2 Mauldon Street,
Chifley, A.C.T. 2606
2 December 2005

Hello to all and a very
Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year from our house to your house

Our garden is beautiful at present, all the spring flowers are out and the summer trees are budding; the rain we have had in the last month has helped the garden (and me from watering every second day) flourish.  Our old flowering cherry tree is holding up under the strain of the bird feeders and all the birds that come visiting each day. I have gone mad again and photographing the birds at every turn. John is thankful I have been using the digital camera most of the time. 
We have had a busy year; John turned 70 this year and the children gave him a present of meeting a Cheetah at the Canberra Zoo. John and I arrived at the Zoo early to fed the animals and then at about 11am John was taken into the Cheetah cage. There were three young Cheetahs in the enclosure. We had watched them being feed an hour earlier so they were not hungry. John enjoyed patting one of the Cheetahs.


              In March we took advantage of the pensionerís scheme and took a free train ride to Sydney and stayed the night before taking a flight to Christchurch, New Zealand. We drove south and stayed with Johnís cousin in Dunedin for a few days talking about the family tree and looking at the sights of Dunedin.

 I won three nights at a Motel in Queenstown so we had a relaxing time watching the lake and the mountains from our window at the Motel and seeing the sights. On to Te Anau, where we stayed in a B and B run by another distant cousin, John Von Tunzlemann; John and his wife took us into the wilderness to see where their ancestor had a station on the River Von, near Mt Nicholas on the south west side of Lake Wakatipu. It was a rainy day but it didnít stop us from having a good time forging swollen river on the way; the mist added to the beauty of the surrounding Mountains and Lake.
A school had built a cabin round the original double fire place and we had our lunch in there with the spiders etc. John Von Tunzlemann helped Peter Jackson with some of the locations for the film ďLord of the RingsĒ near Lake Mavora and the forest near by. These were in the first movie.

              We travelled up the west coast to Nelson and did some research there about Johnís father who was a pupil and a teacher at Nelson College.

 In the cemetery at Nelson on a hill with a beautiful view of the bay we found the graves of his ancestors.






On to Pelorus Sound where we had a dayís trip on the mail boat sailing round to all the jetties and delivering mail and other goods to the people who live on the sound. In one bay they were harvesting green lipped mussels  and reseeding the lines.  It was a beautiful day and the waters very calm; a pod of Dolphins came to see us and surf in our wake. It was very relaxing and there were only about 20 people on the boat.







In Kaikoura we saw the seals sleeping in the car park among the long grass. Boy, the smell was terrible. We didnít know if it was the seals or the seaweed that smelt so horrible. The seals were lying in the large seaweed sleeping or rolling around trying to get comfortable and didnít take any notice of all the tourists trying to get the perfect photo of them; back to Christchurch and Home.




         In May, for my birthday John, Hilary and Timothy took me to The Hyatt for a large and scrumptious afternoon tea with Champagne.

              In July, we celebrated Hilaryís 39th Birthday and then went on to see the Gang Show where Hilaryís three youngest girls were performing. We have been going to the Gang Show for quite a few years now and this year was the best. All the children, scouts etc. and audience enjoyed the evening. Timothy started back to school doing an Enrolled Nursing course full time and working every second week on evening shift at the hospital as an orderly. So far he is doing very well and enjoying both; still living at home with his dog, Sampson. John and I take Sampson for a walk before breakfast each morning.

             In  September, Catherine came down from Brisbane to spend some time with us and she was here for Fathers day. We took John out for a Brunch on Fatherís Day at one of the Hotels in Canberra and it was good not having to cook or clean up after ourselves.

              October, John has resigned from the PCUG and we hope that our lives will get back to normal again; instead of John spending 10 hours on E-Mail he might get to do some work round the house and finish our bedroom cupboards. During the year I have finished putting my travel diaries on the computer and scanning all the photos taken on the trips. Also, scanning family photos and doing CDs for My brother and sisters and our children.

              Hilary is working at the Hospital as an Enrolled nurse three days a week; Amanda, Hilaryís eldest is living with her father; Hilary has the other three children at home. They all seem to be doing well at school and at home. Penny is still teaching at Bruce College and is only doing massaging on Tuesdays at home. Terry had four weeks in LA for work and he is at the Tidbinbilla tracking station and in the spare time he is finishing their house extensions as the builder disappeared.  The two girls are doing very well at school and all other activities they partake in. Everyone have busy lives; guess we were very busy when our kids were small too. Pleased we are retired and enjoy the grandchildren when they come here.

Catherine and Michael seem very happy; Catherine is in day surgery and teaching on the side; she is doing a Masters in Teaching for nursing; Michael is on call for Organ Retrieval and is called on day and night and he is an Enrolled Nurse at other times. Michaelís two children come to Catherineís house every second weekend where Catherine has her children. Samantha and Andrew live with Catherine and Michael most of the time; they are doing very well and Andrew has settled down since they have changed his diet. (Photo; Chris and Samantha Hollis; Michael, Andrew, Catherine and Samantha McLauchlan)  



On the  third of November John and I will celebrate 40 yrs of marriage so we are having a short holiday to see the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. I saw the sights with my parents in 1961 when London Bridge was still intact and there were more apostles; just hope the weather stays fine when we are there.




23rd November John and I had a fantastic trip, staying at Bendigo the first night and visited the Art Gallery; they have some great pictures there old and new.

To Port Fairy next night and then along the Great Ocean Road, and at all the stops to see the sights it was WOW! And WOW! Again; the weather was perfect just a little hot at times.







The Victorian Government had done a great job to enable the tourist to get the best views of all the sights, especially the 12 apostles and beyond.

We did have a rainy day in Apollo Bay when we visited the Cape Otway Lighthouse and the Otway Fly tree walk.


John didnít go on the tree walk as he felt it was a bit expensive and in the rain, so I walked into the forest and eventually came to the fly; It was an easy walk and the rain was just a sprinkling; it was wonderful to walk to the tree tops and hear the birds and the wind in the trees. I was a bit pooped on the walk back up the hill, to the cafť and along came a people buggy so I was able to get a lift and arrived 15 minutes early, much to John amazement. We caught the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento which took about 45 minutes so we could relax and watch the Port Philip Bay traffic go by.

We stayed with my sister Joan and her husband Ted in Melbourne for a couple of days and went to my great nieceís 21st birthday and meet up with a few relatives I had not met before. We drove through magical forests round Healesville on the way to the Hume Highway and we stayed with friends in Wodonga on the way home.

Guess I have bored you all silly, so hope you have a very Happy Christmas and A Happy New Year.

Love, Betty, John, Timothy and Sampson, the dog.    


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