This year has been about new beginnings, related to education, occupation and housing.
Two of our grandchildren started at a new school. Joshua has nearly completed his first year at Secondary College, and Mandy her first year at Primary School. They both had to face new challenges both academic and social. Josh solved the social issue by playing rugby. No one will pick on you if you have big Islander mates. Mandy, who is naturally social has made some good friends. Spencer completes kindergarten this year and will be attending school next year.
Beth has been working for the Police, not of cause as Mrs Plod, but instead making sure that they all get paid. She learned the skills of putting together a large payroll in her previous job at EDS, and is now applying them in the police payroll office. When her boss moved on during the year Beth applied for her job and was promoted. Philip has been working in England for the last 10 years for British Aerospace. His task has been to sign off on any electrical work in the front fuselage of the Eurofighter. Now that the design work has been largely completed he has moved on to a job liaising between the shop floor and the design office. His theoretical understanding and practical skills perfectly equip him for this job. At the other end of the spectrum, Stephen taught his last formal class in late November.
Stephen’s father, Eric, rang one Friday afternoon in late November in a panic. He had started to upgrade Internet Explorer to version 7 and the installation went awry for some reason. Computers of cause don’t require a reason to play up. Although Eric was upset Stephen thought that there would not be many people approaching 80 whose life would be adversely effected by a non functioning Internet connection..
In last year’s Christmas letter we mentioned that we would be moving in to Tarneit Retirement Village. None of Stephen’s relatives have taken this step and on Margaret’s side only a few have lived in a Village. Stephen has explained the reasoning behind this move in a post on his blog at http://steve-marg.blogspot.com/2007/07/tarneit-skies.html. Put simply, the house and particularly the garden are now larger than we require. We could easily look after them for many years but to us there seemed little point in that, particularly given the very dry weather – which is likely to continue into the indefinate future. Consequently we wanted to downsize, but did not want to go into some anonymous flat in the suburbs. It seemed sensible to us to move into a community – hence retirement village. We checked a number of villages and found this one the best constructed, best designed, and best value for money. We plan to travel in the next few years, and invariable when we return home from a holiday we have been separately worrying about our house, left all on its own, a welcome invitation for various varieties of villain. Our house in the village (they call them Villas) will be a safe base when we travel. The village is a gated community in the evenings and there are many close neighbors and the admin to check on the house.
It is a small world, though, as when our advocate come to visit us for the first time he had come from Fairfield. We recognized the address, and sure enough he was also assisting Margaret’s aunty Jessie’s family in selling aunty Jessie’s house!
About a week before Christmas who should arrive at our front door, unannounced, but Philip. He had flown out from England to surprise us all. Everyone was very pleased but Margaret was over the moon with excitement. Weeks later she still talks about how wonderful it was to go out shopping with both of her children.
To see out Christmas Pictures click on the photo below:
To preview the photos see the slide show below:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Margaret and Stephen