Lawrie's Christmas Letter - 2000 in Review

Well another year has come and gone. Regretfully, no long service leave or sabbatical's this year, sigh, just work busier than ever. Still, I managed to keep up a fair bit of dancing and other fun activities (I know, you'd be be very disappointed and surprised if I didn't :-)

Christmas is fast approaching again, and as usual I'll be heading down to Melbourne to catch up with the family,and to spend Christmas itself at Auntie Pat's and Uncle Hans property at Freshwater Creek, past Geelong (and near my favorite surf beach at Pt Addis!). The photo left is the family there last Christmas, with my brother David, Hans, Mum, Glen and Anne across the back, and Pat, my sister Robyn (with Tubby), Wendy and Lachlan across the front. But looking at 2000 in retrospect ...

I went to quite a few folk festivals as usual. This year for the first time I went to the Cobargo Folk Festival (far south coast of NSW, just north of Bega) in Feb. It was a lot of fun, in a lovely small town venue, with the emphasis more on music. Saw quite a few performances including Penelope Swales whose music I'm really enjoying, as well as Earthly Delights, whose dances and workshops I also like getting to here in Canberra. Their September dance at St John's featured the "Chess Dance" - in which we all moved acording to the rules of chess, but at the same time. The photo shows us all mid-move, and it was great fun!

Of course I also went to Numeralla, Jamberoo, and the National here at Easter. The Monaro Colonial Dancers displayed as usual, and the photo shows the dancers and musicians after our display along with several of the Wongawilli dancers who joined us - its was a really good display. MCD also danced at the Canberra Festival, at Floriade, and joined the Wongawilli display at Majors Creek festival in Nov. The photo left shows the team at Floriade, where we had a fun display, despite the weather failing to cooperate! Its been good to see some new members joining in the displays and having fun.

Another new festival for me was the Holbrook Dance Festival over the October long weekend. There were lots of workshops, including one I presented on couples dances, and lots of displays. As well the main Sat evening Ball had the theme "Gone With the Wind" (c 1850's). As you can see in the photos, there were some wonderful costumes. I've included a shot of the hall, and a photo of Heather Ansell (from Melb) and myself.

As usual I also kept up lots of dancing. Apart from the festivals, I got to the BMC "Gold Medal Ball" in Sydney in late May, and to the Maitland Ball in Aug. Locally, I went to the Colonial Ball in Sept and the Earthly Delights Ball in Dec. They were all very enjoyable.

I'm still really enjoying dancing Ceroc, and have been to classes most weeks, as well as to a number of parties and social dances. The photo is from Shannon's 21st party, and shows her dancing with Penny. This year I've been working on more dips and drops, as well as a few aerials - all great fun!!!

On the cultural front, I've taken myself along to the Chihuly glass exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra in January. It was just spectacular, with some really awesome glass works. The photo right was taken lying on the floor looking at this ceiling packed with objects. I was really pleased with the photos I took at this exhibition. At the end of May I when I was in Sydney for the BMC "Gold Medal Ball", on the Sunday I drove up into the Blue Mountains and visited the Norman Lindsay Gallery again. I very much like his paintings and sculptures. The photo shows one corner of the room with some of his largest and post spectacular oil paintings. I then visited the Wentworth Falls which were spectacular, before heading back to Canberra (driving through a blizzard on the Hume as snow was dumped right across SE Australia!). I also went to a couple of small Science Fiction conventions this year - to Freecon00 at the Australia Museum in Sydney in April, and to the Nelcon 2000 relaxacon at Nelson's Bay in Nov. The later included a very pleasant dolphin watching cruise around Port Stephens, as well as a chance to catch up with friends. And I went to see "Cats Run Off to the Circus" when it came to Canberra in May.

On the travelling and outdoor activities front, I've also managed to get around. In early July I flew to Brisbane to attend the ACISP2k security conference. Aftewards I had a wonderful couple of days exploring Springbrook Plateau and the Lamington National Park, on the border with NSW inland from the Gold coast. I did a day walk out of Binna Burra past the Lower Ballunjui Falls shown in the photo left. This year I managed to go skiing several times. The season started early, and on the first weekend in June I headed up to Thredbo and had a great day downhilling. Towards the end of July I went back with David Vickers & David Carroll to Thredbo. We had a great day - the snow was deep and very pleasant to ski in, the weather was fine and the views were wonderful. The photo shows David Vickers and myself up near the highest point on Thredbo looking north. In Sept I managed a day at perisher-Blue, and then got in a final day cross-country skiing at the end of October with David Vickers. We skied from Charlotte Pass along the Summit road to Seaman's Hut, and then back around Mt Stillwell. All up about 12km, and great to be out.

In late Sept I escaped the Olympics hype and headed down to Melbourne for a few quiet days visiting mum and my brother David. It was nice to catch up with them. Whilst there I spent one day exploring and walking round the Flinders - Cape Schank area. The photo shows Cape Schank from the boardwalk descending down to it. Whilst there I scrambled round to see the Angel cave again - and was pleased to see the cave in good order and the Angel still intact above the entrance (see photo right).

I guess that just about covers the highlights for this year. I hope you're keeping well, and look forward to hearing your news. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the best in 2001!

With my Best Wishes and Lots of Love, Lawrie, Dec 2000

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