6th December 2008


            Season’s Greetings to every one.

    You can click any picture to enlarge it :-)

            We have had an exciting start to this year with the birth of Bailey, our 9th grandchild and second grandson on the 30th April.  He has been a delight for all our families.

            In March John and I had 6 days at Hepburn Springs near Daylesford. We drank from the Locarno Mineral springs at Hepburn Springs, but our taste buds with not in tune with the soda part, it is supposed to be very good for your health and we had a spa in a private health centre. The weather was very hot and the 100 year old lodging house didn’t have any air conditioning.

            The Daylesford’s convent, on Wombat Hill, now an art gallery, was worth a visit to see the beautiful glass, paintings, ceramics by Graeme Foote, building and the gardens. It was odd to see paintings of naked ladies in an old convent. In a hot house in the Botanical Gardens were Magnificent Begonias of many colours. Last day we visited Sovereign Hill, Ballarat. We had fun down one mine where we had a ride on a fast tram ride through the tunnels before coming out into the open and day light.


            In April Catherine and her children came to Canberra for Penny’s 40th birthday. Penny and Terry put on a great “do” for family and friends and every one had a good time. Also in April, Canberra had their Hot Air Balloon Festival but only a few days were good to fly. A photographer’s delight was the sunrise, with the balloons being blown up with hot air, the reflections in the two ponds, the autumn leaves and New and Old Parliament houses in the background.

            In August, I did a course in Adobe Photoshop elements and now I need to do a follow up course. September is Floriade time; there were not as many flower beds this year but the display of blooms were beautiful and of course I took too many photos, but with the digital camera I don’t get into trouble with John for taking lots of photos. A pair of swans with their family of cygnets comes to show off their new babies each year in the Lake near Floriade much to the delight of the tourists.

            28th October- 5th November John and I went to Bali for our 43rd wedding anniversary; John caught a cold two days before leaving so he was not very well and we had to get a doctor to see him at the hotel.

We had a great time, saw the Batik cloth being waxed on designs, Beautiful dancing girls in a stage play beside the rice fields, a silver shop where John bought me a brooch. A ride on elephants, one each, for 40 minutes, cost a fortune, but very enjoyable. Lunch in restaurant on a cliff with a view of Mt Batur and Lake Batur and then to the rice terraces which were emerald green in the valley below. To Ubud and the monkey forest where the monkeys were happy eating, grooming and sleeping. On our anniversary we   drive to see the sunset at the Tanah Lot Temple, which is set on a rocky protrusion that becomes an island at high tide. Traffic was unbelievably catastrophic any time of the day in Bali.


              Our Hotel grounds were magic with temples, water ways, fountains, water lilies, lotus flowers, fruit trees and many more flowers out in bloom made for an enjoyable stay.

            Hilary is finishing her master degree in Sydney at present; she has been working at the hospital mostly in the clinics this last year. The three eldest girls are working and Jessica is still at home and doing lots of dancing classes and doing very well at everything.

 Tamara has come back home with her partner, Ewan, to help Hilary when she is in Sydney or working elsewhere.

            Penny is helping to make a programme in ‘The Future World of computers’ for students about medical diseases so they can log on to the programme and follow a diseased person through the signs and symptoms and healing of a disease, etc. Terry is still at Tidbinbilla and the girls are happy at their new school doing music and other activities.



            Catherine’s husband Michael decided he didn’t want to stay married so he moved out in the middle of this year. It was a big blow for Catherine but she has managed to bounce back very well and is getting on with her life. Catherine has been at the cutting edge of new medical treatment for Emphysema. The hospital in Adelaide and the one Catherine works for Prince Charles Hospital have been using a new method of cleaning the lungs with some success. Her children are well and are doing well at school.



Timothy is a house husband looking after Bailey for the next 5 months while Sheri is on shift work at the hospital. He is really enjoying the time with Bailey. Bailey is a happy baby with a wonderful smile and now he is crawling at 7 months and keeping both parents busy.

            John is still fixing computers at people’s homes and giving long phone helps most days. We renovated our lounge room and terrace, replacing wall boards, screwing up the ceiling which was coming down, in the lounge room, painting and tiling the floor on the terrace. It looks good and I enjoy sitting on the terrace most days especially in the winter time.

            Well it must be time to say good-bye as I cannot think any more. Hope you are all well. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Love, Betty and John 

P.S. You can get to John's Christmas letter by clicking here  

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