Dear friends and family,
This year, our large, old and beautiful crabapple tree came down in a windstorm and took the bird feeder with it. This crimson rosella is waiting hungrily for the new young sapling to grow. As 2018 was an ‘at home’ year for us, we charted its progress too. We had decided to clip our own wings because Chris had two major projects—to help find and settle a new rector and to finish writing a book. Both have been labours of love. The first is almost complete—the induction is imminent. The second is close to completion and now is definitely on top of her list. After all, the number of words and years happily devoted to this has now exceeded those of her PhD!
Geoff’s enthusiasm for travel, being curtailed, found an outlet in helping the departing rector and her husband to plan their dream retirement holiday. With the gracious cooperation of friends in The Netherlands, Switzerland and England and The Man in Seat 61 (a rail journeys website), Geoff customised a wonderful holiday. The anticipation was great fun for all concerned. So imagine the depth of the disappointment when, shortly before the departure date, his ‘client’ shattered her arm and the trip was off. (Fortunately, some months later, they were able to take a shorter holiday to North America.)
Busy-ness is a way of life for so many these days. Chris found welcome relief from hers in two retreats. The first was another women’s retreat on the banks of Lake George. That’s where the albino roo was spotted. The second featured this dry labyrinth in Alice Springs. That one was a real escape from the ‘list to do’ and it came with the bonus of being shared with sister Alison and Graham and several long-lost friends. Geoff stayed at home to keep up his various commitments, much to cat Polly’s relief.
This year has not been entirely without travel. We marked important milestones with family members around the country. These are the Ledger siblings and ‘outlaws’ gathered for Alison's 70th. Our visitors book has plenty more entries too. Jeannine, an Alves sister-in-law, came for the display of hand-crafted poppies planted in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. Our current guest, Felicity, came to stay while she house-hunted and will soon be moving to her own place close by. So we haven’t been short for lovely company.
This is us posing as Cunningham’s skinks emerging and ready to set off ... somewhere. Geoff had his cataracts removed this year (all those eyedrops!) so the sights he will see will be even more spectacular. A few days ago, Chris delighted Geoff by filling out the form to renew her passport.