Thursday, December 3, 2015

Xmas 2015 letter

Seasons greetings wherever you are in the world. Another year has flown by, even quicker than the last one.

So what’s news? Nicky continues to juggle lots of jobs. And there is a new one to report. For quite a while now she’s been interested in professional coaching and mentoring. So this year  she signed up for a Graduate Diploma and is coming close to completion and the business is up and running. She has just completed her first website, though the language while doing this task cannot be published in this blog! She fitted this in around 4 big overseas trips but hopes in 2016 that these will be less numerous.

Stuey continues to play the bass lots. The year fell into two halves - a contract with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra up until late June, then one with Orchestra Victoria for the rest of the year. Plus other bits in between. Sadly we’ve not had time to organize our chamber music group this year but 2016 ‘here we come!’.

We continued to bravely/stupidly support English sport….or atleast we tried to. As the photo shows, we went to the cricket one day world cup final at the MCG but of course did not get to see England play on that day! And as for the rugby – well the less said the better! Nic was in the UK at the time and for a couple of weeks renewed her Scottish roots!

We were both back in the UK in the middle of the year as our Clifton house finally sold – 3rd year lucky. It’s been a long slog. To say that the UK housing market is "quirky" would be an understatement. We have tried to explain all its eccentricities to the Auzzies, such as chains, and they just don't get it. Neither do we. It was one of the most stressful periods we have suffered, and apparently it went smoothly!  Despite the stress of selling the house it was great to catch up with a lot of family and friends in July. Sorry we didn't get around to everyone.

So we are now finally in a position to buy a house in Melbourne - where we’re at the top of a housing bubble and properties are ridiculously expensive. At time of writing we are just about the give up and stay renting. However we are very lucky to be tenants in a beaut town house in North Carlton. Our landlords are our very good friends Sheena and Paul who periodically turn up and stay with us which is fantastic.

Woody is still alive, fine and well. He is aging, like both of us. He caught a baby rat in November and was so proud of himself he had to sleep for a couple of days!!

2015 marked our 25th wedding anniversary – yes some of you will recall that day in 1990. We are both agreed that Stuart deserves a medal. And you will never guess who writes these blog entries!! We celebrated twice, once in the UK when Stuart’s mother organized a fantastic family get together and then a second time in Melbourne with dozen close friends for a long lunch, featuring Stuart’s debut lobster thermidor!
Nicky’s anniversary present to Stuey was a 600mm lens - which has been used lots on our latest hobby, bird-watching. Yes, are aging! We have a wonderful family of tawny frogmouths (they look like owls but are from a slightly different group of birds) in a tree just opposite our front door. So Stuey has been out most days taking photos, especially the new chick arrived in early November.

But it’s not just birds - we been out bush walking in Gippsland, taking lots of snaps, some of which are OK. We came across these fighting roos in Cape Paterson. There is a small mound at the Western end of town to where we often walk from our beach house to watch the sun set while drinking a cold beer. There is a mob of 50 or so roos and this shot was taken on one such occasion. It’s a hard life down undr – so if any of you are feeling brave enough please come on down, we’d love to see youse!

In the meantime we wish you a merry Xmas and a safe 2016,

xx Stuey and Nicky

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