Well here we are with another Christmas on the immediate horizon with all the goodwill that goes with the occasion, and more importantly a time to reflect on, and give thanks for the many memories of events involving our family and friends over the year.
2013 for Judy and me was again chock-full of action and surprises.
Just a few days ago we had the Christening of our Great Grandchild number 5, happy little Mya Daisy Bishop. The service at St Josephs in Upper Hutt was for Judy and me our first in this new enlightened age. Quite a thrill and joyful to have the little one in the Priest’s words “pass the parcel” around all family and friends present. I wonder what they do at Weddings these days.
This month 2 of our other Great Grandchildren started at school making me think that their experience 70 years on from when I was sent on the 2 mile walk to school (about 25 pupils and a sole charge teacher) at Mangatarata on the Hauraki Plains, joining others on the way, and if lucky being offered a place on horseback, would be somewhat different. Today many (not ours of course!) travel to and from School with Mum in a SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle). I know because I suffer many mornings and late afternoons navigating through a whole bunch of these juggernauts performing alarming and practically impossible manoeuvres at the School gate!
My year saw me off to the UK in February/March on a Genealogy Study Tour with Victoria University Continuing Education Programme to attend the Who Do You Think You Are Live Conference at the London Olympia Exhibition Centre and visit repositories in London and Edinburgh. To this I added research opportunities in Aberdeen, Norwich and Kings Lynn in Norfolk, Dorchester and Winchester.
A highlight was a visit to Canterbury in Kent where I had a most delightful meeting and lunch with a cousin of my Grandmother, on the paternal side of the family, Francis Victor Peter Edwards and Angela, one his two daughters.
Jude is still swimming, but lately her attendance has waned as she is being tested to find the cause of some listlessness. However despite this her garden is probably the best it has been for many years and she continues to fill her coffee shop loyalty cards in pursuit of those free cups. Her Age Concern client also helps fill in her day. And then of course there are the family chores and duties, including Robyn’s gardens at home and the pub, some babysitting (daytime only), Book Club, and 6.30 Club.
We had again our annual “wintering over” on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia mid June through to September and must say that the lifestyle, weather of course, and resuming associations and activities with friends made on our visits over the years has made the trip across the Ditch a feature in our lives for as long as we are able.
Then of course we have David and his partner Pauline, his son Wade and Judy’s Sister Kathy and family to spend value time with. The best of two Worlds you might say.
I continue to exercise with my single sculling boat 2 or 3 times a week and with the time in Australia in the Winter I am extremely lucky to be able to do this for at least 10 months of the year.
Merry Christmas, a Happy and Prosperous New Year and much Aroha to all.
Judy and Bob
Lower Hutt, New Zealand