Christmas Newsletter 2006

Another year has flashed by, Ann’s first full year and Ian’s second of so-called retirement. It’s been great.
The year kicked off with Rebecca still in South America part way through her nine month travel adventure, and with Megan living back at home, running her graphic design business out of our front room. Ian and Ann took a short break in an apartment by the sea at Port Elliot, about 50 miles south of Adelaide.
In the early part of the year, Ann joined the board of the Seniors’ Information Service (SIS) and was also appointed to the Libraries Board. Ian continued as a member of the Board of Community Information Strategies Australia (CISA) and also undertook a review of the Development Assessment Panel of one of Adelaide’s larger municipal councils, in association with Greg Crafter.
Not too far into the year saw us involved in the State General Election. During the campaign, the Adelaide Festival of the Arts and the Fringe Festival were going on. We managed to fit in a few events: the Glyndebourne Opera’s production of “Flight”; a nostalgic revival of the Adelaide University Footlights Revue with many of the original student performers now in their 50s and 60s; the premier of the play from Peter Goldworthy’s funny and thought-provoking novel “Honk if you’re Jesus”; the Amsterdam Sonfonetti and the Leningrad Orchestra.
We also went to a Womad session, the world music and dance festival that runs in parallel with the Arts Festival, featuring Miriam Makeba. Also during the latter part of the year we enjoyed performances of the plays “Life x 3” and “Private Lives” at the State Theatre, and a concert by the revamped Australian String Quartet at a winery in the Barossa Valley.
As Autumn moved towards the Australian winter, our big event for the year started, our 12 week overseas holiday. Arriving first in the UK, we soon departed to spend a few days in Venice, then in Como in northern Italy where we caught up with Rae and Greg with whom we travelled for the next four weeks. We all took the train to Lodeve near Montpellier and were joined by Bob and Pat from Canada for the next two weeks. The six of us explored the local area, ate like royalty and spent a couple of days in Barcelona as a side trip.
When Bob and Pat left to continue the next part of their European trip, the four of us travelled via Paris and Athens to the Greek island of Paros for an idyllic week in the fishing town of Noussa. We flew back to London where Greg and Rae got ready for their return to Australia, while Ann and Ian began our stay in the UK catching up with family and friends, making our base with my sister Ruth and Aunt Else. They looked after us marvellously.
Another highlight was when our daughter Megan met up with us in London. She had popped over to the UK to catch up with her boyfriend who was working there at the time and to go with him to a wedding. We flew back to Adelaide via a few days in Hong Kong. It was all a magnificent experience.
While we were away, Rebecca returned home and stayed in our house. Shortly before we returned, she moved back to Sydney to take up the offer of a flat overlooking Bondi Beach. Almost immediately, Chris, her partner went with Oxfam to Pakistan to help wind up their earthquake relief projects. Bec started up her own communications consultancy and business has picked up quite quickly for her. She is undertaking some interesting projects relating to sustainable and alternative energy.
About the same time, Megan moved out into a rented house five minutes away from ours, sharing with her boyfriend who had returned with her to Australia, and one of her girlfriends from University. However, things didn’t work out and later in the year he moved away with plans to return to London. Meanwhile, Megan set up a new office in the separate “rumpus room” and continued to run her business from there.
In August Ann and Ian spent a few days in Melbourne, seeing the Picasso exhibition and the new production of “The Boy from Oz”. Then shortly after, we spent a few days in Sydney catching up with Rebecca in Bondi.
In September, we celebrated my 60th birthday with a party at our home for friends, some of whom travelled interstate or from distant parts of South Australia to join us. It was great chance for people to catch up with others they hadn’t seen for a while. Ann and several of our friends did the catering and organising.
Shortly after, Ian’s band finally got its act together after a stop-start sort of year, and we performed three gigs at a city pub before a couple of the members moved on, amicably. In the last couple of weeks the remaining three of us have started to rehearse with a new drummer and lead guitarist, and we hope to able to gig again in the new year.
Ann and Ian wound up the year with an actual and symbolic spring clean, repainting the lounge and dining room. Now we are looking forward to visits from long-standing school-friends planned for the first part of 2007.
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