This year’s Christmas Greetings to friends and family from Judy and Bob’s Place are for the first time being posted by Blog. Having spent some time on studying the Web World and the utilities offered by various of the social media, this represents my best shot at using readily available and inexpensive Internet facilities to convey news of our family for the 2012 year to friends worldwide.
Well, for a start, Judy and I have enjoyed another wonderful year of good health, joyful company and engagement with family and friends.
Again we Wintered over in Queensland catching up with Angela and Mike in Muleny, Sherrin and Paul in Minyana, Sister Kathy of course, and among others our friends at the new Club Maroochy (Bowls) and the Sunshine Coast Rowing Club. Most importantly the 3 junior generations of Vines permanently resident in the “Lucky Country” joined us for a week capped off with the presence of Daughter Robyn from home, together with David’s other son James and his elder lad Robert, with Wade and his 2 boys Alex and Owen coming down from Gladstone making it a true and boisterous family week. Old ICMA friend Roy Peterson has shared a map of Australia with me which shows that our family resides in areas famous for “Razor Sharp Coral” (I can confirm that from a wee incident in which I fell from my boat to land directly on some of this stuff), “Poisonous Snakes”, “Backpacker Murderers”, “Maneating Koalas”, Mosquitos” and “Sharks”. Makes the place extremely interesting and exciting with plenty of opportunity for adventure.
Our biggest adventure we saved for our return home. Someone, and it wasn’t me, opened their big mouth and volunteered to Motel Mind for Judy’s niece Wendi (that will give a clue as to who threw us into 10 days of life at pace) and husband Tony up North in Kerikeri. Judy’s brother David and Margaret were roped in also to have great fun hosting and caring for a team of consultants whose lives gathered pace in the evening and late at night with a bar to lean on, a Tangi with generous donations of Oysters coming our way, chopping copious amounts of firewood, preparing breakfasts, cut lunches and dinners, and all the other rigmarole that goes along with minding a Motel and Conference Centre. Great fun though and I think we might even go back sometime for another dose just to wake ourselves up.
Jude’s brother David turned 70 a couple of weeks back creating a good excuse for a bash featuring food gathered and hunted from the Wairarapa waters, hills and fields.
Friend Raewyn is well and still has the ability to lead me astray with specials from the supermarket wine shelves.
Another innovation this year has been the formation of the ROMEO group (Retired Old Men Eating Out) which has lifted the level of my Friday lunches at an Asian restaurant called First Choice. Lunch is $8.90 plus $2 corkage which leaves a little bit for a punt at the local TAB (betting shop) on the way home.
Daughter Robyn’s pub seems to be prospering but boy does she have a job there. We have complete admiration for the way she manages the demands of a hospitality business. Many of those challenges of the local government world pale into insignificance when compared with what she has to put up with.
David continues to slave away in the heat of Queensland working 12 hour night shifts (to escape the heat) at Mackay on construction of a new coal terminal at The Port of Hay Point which is the world’s largest coal export port and is comprised of two separate coal export terminals, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (leased from the Queensland Government by Prime Infrastructure Trust) and the Hay Point Services Coal Terminal (owned and operated by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance). I shall be returning to Mackay with David just after Christmas for my annual “inspections” and am looking forward to seeing this development.
At the moment I am planning a visit to the UK, February/March with an University Continuing Education Genealogy Study Tour entitled “Climb Your Family Tree”. Now that I have fully retired (31 July last) I have been putting more time into my family research and recreational rowing.
It’s funny but I now spend about 10 minutes on waking, working out which day of the week it is. Every day is now a weekend type day. Quite different for me after a working life of 56 years, but I can certainly get used to it.
Best wishes and Seasonal Goodwill to all
Much Aroha, Judy and Bob