2 Mauldon Street,
  Chifley ACT


          Hello! A Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year

          The big event of the year, Timothy and Sheriís wedding in February; everyone looked beautiful and it was a magical, fine but hot day for it. We all had a great time with families and old friends. The gold fish in glass bowls, with a candle in the centre, were the centre pieces on each table which was the talk of the night.  Timothy and Sheri have bought a three bedroom house in Conder not far from Hilaryís house; they have Sampson, the dog and now Saber the cat with them. Saber comes home with fresh henís eggs and eats them, so they have to keep him inside the house at certain times of the day. Timothy and Sheri are expecting a baby on the 6th May 2008 and so far, Sheri is doing well. Please click any picture for a larger version.

          I feel as if we have been away for a long time this year but we have had three holidays consisting of 32 days in total. John and I went to the north Island of New Zealand for another family reunion in March; it was great to renew our friendship with some of Johnís relatives, and to meet a few new cousins; we stayed with three of his cousins round the North Island. We went round the East Cape to TeKaha Bed and breakfast and could see White Island smoking on the horizon in the Bay of Plenty from their front door. From Napier we took a tour to Cape Kidnappers to the Gannet colony on the plateau of the Cape; The chicks were of all ages, some flying trying out their wings and coming in for a comical landing, some still with down on their bodies waiting for a parent to bring them food. The smell of their excreta wasnít the best but you got used to it. We stayed with a cousin in the middle of the Island before going to the glow worm caves and on to New Plymouth and another Cousinís house. Mt Taranaki was hiding in cloud for the next few days; I kept looking at it and was waiting for a photo opportunity, which never came. While in Wellington we spent a morning at Somes Island in the middle of Wellington Harbour; it used to a quarantine station for Dog, cats, cattle, sheep etc but now is a scientific and historical reserve. Back in Sydney we spent the day at Darling Harbour and enjoyed the fantastic Chinese Gardens with live dragons sunning themselves on the warm paths. We took a Hair Raising water taxi tour of Sydney Harbour in between ferries and sailing racing boats.

          Hilary is still nursing but she is now doing her Masters degree, part time, for sexually diseases. Amanda turned 21 years and is living with her father and is doing well in a child care course. Tamara became engaged a few months ago but that is off at present; she is working and doing accountancy course through her work. Emma is at high school and living with her father. Jessica is also at high school and doing lots of tap dancing. The three youngest of Hilaryís take part in the Scoutís Gang Show each year and this year it was really a good show.

          Penny is still teaching at the C.I.T. and Terry at Tidbinbilla; Rachel and Emily are good kids and enjoy school and trampoline. Their dog, Sam, likes to jump on the trampoline with them; he is a standard poodle cross and is totally black so it is hard to see his eyes.

          Catherine and Michael are enjoying their nursing and having overseas holidays. Samantha and Andrew are doing well at school, and they enjoy the Scouts, too.

          Floriade was beautiful in Canberra this year; I went several times and swans with their cygnets and Pelicans also came to Nerang Pool to check out the tourists and flowers; they also wanted a bread crumb or two.

          My Sister, Joan, turned 70 Years this year so our families had five days together in her daughterís house at Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsular in early October. We had a great time going over to Queenscliff in the ferry, for a day. Point Nepean National park to Fort Nepean with tunnels, and gun placements in strategic areas looking out to Bass Strait and into Port Phillip Bay, and a memorial to Harold Holt who was lost in the ocean; Ashcombe Maze where they have the oldest and largest Cypress hedge Maze in Australia plus rose maze, and a lavender Labyrinth; the lavender was out in flower, only a few roses were out; Blue bells covered the ground in a small forest which led to a lake. Many ponds and fountains beautified the area. Cape Schanck Lighthouse was also interesting with a long stair walk to Pulpit Rock down to the Cape. John and I went to Point Cook museum on the way back to Canberra.

          John and two of his other colleagues, who worked with him at the Honeysuckle tracking station, were presented with Space Stamps Collection celebration 50 years of space at Tidbinbilla; at the same time round Australia other space workers were also presented with stamps.  

          Late October, John and I went to Lord Howe Island for our Wedding Anniversary; the flight on to the island was hair-raising and heart stopping but it was good to feel the land under our feet. We did a lot of walking and even rode bikes one day. The coast line is very rugged on the ocean side and a beautifully coloured blue green Lagoon on the other side. The two mountains, Lidgbird and Gower were always in cloud as they create their own weather. We had rain most days for about a minute or two but it didnít worry us as it was quite warm with 100% humidity. The glass bottom boat tour was wonderful looking at the colourful fish and coral in the Lagoon. At Nedís beach we feed the king fish and many other fish at low tide; one Asian had a bit of a fright as a fish got too close to his groin and took a bit while he was feeding the fish. The wild flowers were out, yellow, blue, pinks and white ones on cliffs and in the forests. White Terns, Sooty Terns and many other birds are breeding on the island. You have to watch where you walk because you may step on an egg or two. We climbed Malabar Hill and Mt Eliza and had lovely views of the Island and beaches. The Banyan trees were amazing one extends over about 3 acres. The Kentia Palm seeds are harvested and the small plants are sold overseas. The Woodhen was nearly extinct but they have been breeding the birds and some say there are about 500 living in gardens and the forests all over the island. The Mutton Birds came into the land each night and into their burrows; they cried all night while courting and kept me wake most nights with the noise; thank goodness for ear plugs. 

          John is still busy helping people with their computer, and sometimes me too when he has time. Our Garden looks great at present as we have had a bit of rain and the flowers are in bloom and the grass is green; our rain water tank is full. I have been doing our photos, diaries and gardening; the beginning of the year I did a lot of crocheting and sewing for the new baby to come. I have some more sewing to do for Christmas.

          Well, I hope you all are well and enjoying life. We are reasonably fit for two old folk.

          All the best for the New Year