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2, Mauldon St, Chifley,
ACT 2606 Australia

Dec 2006

 Decided not to inflict you with midi 'music' this year - but if you want to get in the mood - click here  and click on the photos for a larger view

Dear Friends.

Sorry for yet another general letter – but we really love to keep up with ALL our friends and relations, and individual letters would be impossible.

So here we are again – despite the horrific mess in the middle East, Global warming, Tsunami, African genocides etc, we are still surviving and are incredibly lucky to be able to live a reasonably quiet (if busy) life.

No big trips this year, but it was great to do 2-3,000 Km catching up with good friends and family in Brisbane and back down the East coast. Betty and I also made a shortish trip down to the local coast to celebrate our 41st Anniversary.

One reason for lack of travel is that we are both too busy! My golden rule for retirement is “never volunteer”! But unfortunately I’m a real softie and can never say no. I guess my biggest part time commitment is still with the PCUG (PC User’s Group). The phone does not often stop ringing with people with various PC problems. I’ve even invested in a headset for the phone to make it easier to check out possible solutions on my system. The same thing happens via Email so I have to keep up with that or it really builds up. So I hate to be offline for more than 2-3 days. We moved the PCUG centre across town to a much more economical location and I ended up organising most of the building modifications and purchase of replacement systems. So we now have a good training room with 11 systems, overhead projector, etc, and I have been running some regular training for beginners. There is an overwhelming and never ending need for this – especially among the 50 + group.
Betty has been running many craft work production lines mainly for gifts – counted stitch needlework, the occasional teddy bear and spending quite a lot of time on massaging digital photos, producing DVDs and posting on the Web. See http://community.webshots.com/user/jsaxon10 and http://picasaweb.google.com/eesaxon?pli=1 Her Christmas letter is at http://tinyurl.com/ylaycb  She also waits on me hand and foot so I can get on with all the PC stuff – I really am lucky….

During the year I organised a reunion for the Apollo people and we were lucky that Stan Lebar – the leader of the Lunar camera development team was able to come out and thank us for the Australian contribution to that project. Stan brought with him one of the original cameras and also made a couple of public presentations as well. After the big effort for the 35th Apollo-11 reunion as well, I decided that the next two will be quiet picnics at the old Honeysuckle tracking station site before the big effort for the 40th!

My younger sister Anna is still having major problems with her back and various other health issues – she has very limited vision but really loves her guide dog for companionship as well as work! My elder sister Jane who lives in Taos New Mexico has had both hips replaced in Denver Colorado (laparoscopic surgery I believe) and is recovering well and looking forward to hiking again up over 10,000 ft! And my eldest sister Elizabeth in U.K is still going well, travelling to Ireland for holidays and other exciting sounding trips.

Our eldest daughter Hilary turned 40 this year (disgracefully) – fancy having a child of 40! It only seems like yesterday…….  Her second eldest daughter Tamara became a Queen Scout and is now having a break year after finishing year 12.

Middle daughter Penny is a department head at the college where she teaches soft tissue therapy and other subjects. I found it amusing that at our son’s graduation ceremony Penny was in the Academic procession and we all had to stand up! Good on you Penny!

Youngest daughter Catherine is going well up in Brisbane. Both she and her husband Michael are Nurses there. With Michael joining the family with 2 children from his first marriage – we now have 10 Grand children and are looking forward to more!

Our Son Timothy completed his Nursing qualifications and is now working in A & E at Canberra hospital (Hilary works there as well). The big news is that he got engaged to Sheri (who lives in Chifley and also works in A & E :-) They will tie the knot next Feb and are already buying a very nice house near Hilary. Sampson the Malamute has moved in with them – he was a real mess earlier with ruptures to Cruciate ligaments in BOTH back legs – but is now recovering quite well. The other picture shows Sampson singing one of his favourite songs. Our 3 offspring in Canberra have a total of 2 dogs and 4 cats between them.

Next year we are planning to visit New Zealand again in March – to attend the 2nd Horneman, Saxon, Knyvett reunion. I got volunteered to do some web pages for that – see www.familyreunion.org.nz. It illustrates the global nature of the net rather well. I brought the domain name from NZ, am organising the web pages from AU, I am using free web hosting in the U.S. and the web forms are processed via a site in U.K!

And talking of the web – if you are receiving this as a printed message but do have access to the Internet, I’d love to hear from you via Email – that way next year you’ll get a Christmas Email with a reference to next years letter. This year’s is at http://tinyurl.com/u6utp  if you would like the full ‘multimedia’ experience!

So here’s another year on it’s way out. We really hope that you have had a great one and are looking forward to another in 2007.

With Love and very Best Wishes from John & Betty.