Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009

The Village
As you probably know, we have been living in a Retirement Village for two years. It is generally a cheerful and friendly environment, and we are very happy and contented in our choice to live here. Our main concern in entering the Village was that it was owned by a small company. This concern seemed to be reinforced when we were told that the owner company had gone into receivership. We all became experts on receivership law, and we had a worrying few months when the Village was advertised for sale. Happily we are now owned by a large company - IOR. Irrespective of IOR’s original rationale, drinking is still an important part of Village socializing. It now seems that IOR will be merging with another company which will mean our owner is an even larger company, which gives us a sense of security for the future.

For those who haven't been here the photograph below shows our community center. (As with all of the photos in this post click on it to see a larger version.)

I run a blog of village activities. If you are interested it can be found here.

A major aim in our retirement was to travel, and we have continued to travel this year to China, Perth and the Blue Mountains.

Our major trip was to China. This included: seven cruises, one train trip, five long bus trips, four internal plane flights, all adding up to about 7,500 kms. Naturally we saw major sites including the Forbidden City, Great Wall, Summer Palace, Birds Nest, Terracotta Warriors and the Yangtze River. As we both enjoy Asian food the 84 meals were a delight.

The Google Map below shows our itinerary. (You can treat it as a normal Google Map, by moving it around with the mouse and zooming and expanding with the buttons at top left. The blue place holders contain the name of the location and a picture of the location. It does not show all of the map so to get a better view click on the China09 link at the bottom.)

View China09 in a larger map

Here is a link to a summary of the trip.

While walking up the Great Wall I met a Chinese couple who were very friendly. Here I am celebrating our arrival at the top of the Wall.

Margaret in the Forbidden City

Here is a link to our published China photos.

A slide show of the China photos:

We travelled China on a Wendy Wu tour, with a fantastic National Guide and a fun group of people.

Here is a link to photos of our China people.

In September we attended Probus Rendezvous in Perth. Here is a link that briefly describes Probus and Rendezvous. Rendezvous is a yearly event held somewhere in Australia or New Zealand where Probians gather to socialise and tour the highlights of the local area. It was our third Rendezvous. We met friends from our last two Rendezvous, and it was great to catch up on their news. We were all surprised to find that two who had first met at Rendezvous last year had subsequently married.

The photo below shows us with friends from the last three Rendezvous.

Below are links to my Perth Rendezvous photos and blog post:

At our first Rendezvous we met, Bob Russell, who is a retired farmer from Western Australia, and after this year's Rendezvous we spent two very enjoyable weeks with Bob. He took us on a tour, which included Margaret River and Albany.

Here we are sharing a convivial meal at Woody Nook winery:

This link will take you to our photos of that trip.

Blue Mountains
We have recently returned from a trip to the Blue Mountains. On the way we spent three days in Echuca. The Blue Mountains is spectacular. We went on many walks in the bush, took the train to Sydney for one day and rode the Zig Zag railway.

Leura Cascades was one of the many attractive walks as shown by the photo below.

Naturally we did the tourist bit, including a ride on the skyway (shown below)

This is a link to our Blue Mountains photos.

All of our children and grand children are doing well, in their lives and careers. Michelle and David made the right decision to transfer Jonathan and Mandy to Bacchus Marsh Grammar. The Creasey boys are doing very well in their sport and musical activities. Hayley and Cameron have both successfully started Secondary School. Spencer is very excited that Santa has contacted his dad to help Santa this year.

Margaret's mother, Joyce, reached the milestone of her 90th birthday in August.

The photo below shows Joyce with four of her children at the celebration of her birthday.

Here is a link to all of Joyce's party photos.

We hope that this finds you and your family well, we wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year,


Margaret and Stephen

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great letter Dad and Margaret. It has been a good year! Talk to you on Friday...Catherine