Greetings – a Happy New Year to all – it is so nice to be enjoying the lovely summer days, yet wishing for overnight rain for the dry garden. Some have spent the annual holiday time quietly at home, while others have travelled here and abroad to catch up with family. Jeanne had another wonderful experience which she tells us about in a separate story. Alf is in the U.K. where we hope he is enjoying the change of temperature while Fleur relaxes in the warmth of our sunshine! The beautiful jacarandas, the silk trees, the gums and the bougainvillea brighten our lives with their colour. No doubt David and Liz and family have enjoyed the winter colours in France and will be looking forward to welcoming Alf on his visit.
Our thoughts are with the folk in Australia and Christchurch battling terrifying bush fires in the hope of rain soon. As are our thoughts for improved health for some of our St Aidan’s Family who are coping with problems.
Birthdays – We say Happy Birthday to Rae and Michael (remember when he was a baby?) this month – have a happy day.
Wedding Anniversary – Congratulations to Pat and Colin and to Rachel and Simon.
Out And About
Val and Cam enjoyed their annual visit to Stanley St for the Ladies’ and Men’s tournaments and Edith had a day at the Heineken. Weather behaved this year so there were no hold-ups. Our usual devotees soaked up the Aussie Open which was very exciting, particularly during the second week.
Pat & Colin sailed to the Bay of Islands and the Whangaroa Harbour in their yacht Fine Line III, along with David, Heather and family in their yacht. Apart from one gale that kept them at anchor for 2 days, the weather was hot and sunny with favourable winds – great for swimming. Colin had a further week sailing with 2 friends to the Mokahinau Islands and Great Barrier. Strong winds most days prevented them from shore walking, but they had good fishing and caught 3 big ones !
Hélène and André were pleased to have daughter Karen home from France over Christmas – Karen wasn’t quite so happy to return to snow and very cold temperatures after her holiday.
Our dear Rita was happy to sell her house towards the end of the year and even happier to be flying to Queensland to be with her family over there – things seemed to work out well for Rita’s new chapter and we send love and best wishes for the future. We hope to see her when she comes to visit her daughter.
Edith and family welcomed home 2 grand daughters plus friend from the U.K. for Christmas. No less than 19 family members shared the meal and fun of Christmas Day. Lake Rotoiti then lured them all for a week’s relaxation in a rented house on the Lake shore. Plenty of activity on the Lake with Rick’s boat and always something of interest in Rotorua when the wind was too strong. An interesting custom at the Lake was prior to dinner, everyone was asked to say what they were thankful for that day – it wasn’t called ‘grace’ but was both interesting and moving to hear what came out from a wide age range. Edith then joined daughter Kathryn and family for a few days at Mt. Maunganui which was yet another treat – good weather, close to both the Harbour and the Mount beaches for swimming and a cruise ship in and out every day. Such a friendly place for a holiday – plenty of room for the thousands – and the walk round the Mount never loses its charm.
The family camping at Russell in January caused great excitement when Grace (just 16) fishing from “Anchorage” landed a 206kg Blue Marlin. Not only did Grace beat the Russell junior record, she established a national junior record! This opportunity occurred 4 years ago when members of the Swordfish Club offered their boats for young people to experience deep sea fishing. Harry and Grace have taken part since the beginning and Grace is eligible for one more year. She received many excellent prizes and if the record is not broken by next August, will bring home the coveted trophy.
We look forward to Alf’s news and to keeping things going in his absence. A good chance for us all to pitch in. Remember –“ NO ONE IS GOOD AT EVERYTHING, BUT EVERYONE IS GOOD AT SOMETHING” (if you’ve got kids, make sure they know what it is they do well, and help bring out these skills).
Blessings - Go well and safely.