Well another year has winged its way past, as life goes on at as frantic a pace as ever! In many ways its been a pretty usual year - though with a nice change in scenery as I spent the second half on sabbatical in Melbourne, working at SERC, RMIT. I've been living with my Mum and sister Robyn in Devon Meadows, which has been very pleasant (see photo below left of Mum on the porch, and middle of Robyn jumping Cosmo on the arena we have here). Its also not far from my brother David's place in Bittern (right). Unfortunately its a long way from the city centre where I've been working, and I really haven't enjoyed the 3 hours of travelling a day. Its has been good working with colleagues here, and I'm happy with my research progress, but its certainly not something I'd want to do long term. Especially since I've found it difficult to get out as much as I'd like.
Whilst driving down here and around I've got out in the bush and enjoyed the wonderful scenery we're so lucky to have in Australia. Below left is a sunset photo of Pt Hicks in East Gippsland taken on the way down in Dec last year. In the centre is Pt Addis, my favorite surf beach which I love walking and lazing on, between Geelong and Anglesea. Right is the panorama from Genoa Peak over Mallacoota in East Gippsland, taken on my way back home in Oct from a quick trip to Canberra (to ADFA & Bungendore dance fest) and Sydney (where I spent a very pleasant weekend with SF fan and writer Edwina Harvey).
In Feb, after going to the Cobargo Folk Festival, I spent a few days exploring the Far South NSW coast and Ben Boyd National park. It had some lovely scenery including the Pinnacles (left) and Disaster Bay (centre). In April I spent a very pleasant and relaxing Anzac Day long weekend with a group of friends exploring the area around and staying at some really nice cabins near Tilba Tilba by Wallaga Lake (right).
In August I went skiing at Mt Buller with my sister Robyn (in summit view below left) and her friend Roger - we had a lovely day. The photo centre is me hurtling down the slope! And right is a view of my Bungalow at home here in Devon Meadows where I've been living for the last six months.
I have of course, been out dancing a lot (as I'm sure you'd expect :-) I'm still very much enjoying Ceroc, and in Melbourne I've been dancing with Le Bop on Wed evenings. My sister Robyn has also been along to a few, and enjoyed herself. I've also enjoyed a number of Irish set dance workshops, several with the wonderful Margaret & Bill Winnett from Sydney. Here I've enjoyed the monthly Melbourne Irish dances on Sundays, and I've been to a few English dances on Tues evenings. In Feb I did a Ceroc Aqua Aerials workshop in Ulladulla, working on assorted aerials, including Arthurs Leap with Joanna (below left). In the middle of the year I went to the GDS Ball which was good fun, and I'm caught mid-dip with Kellie (centre). In the earlier part of the year I did several displays with the Monaro Colonial Dancers. We had a lovely trip to Narranderra in Mar, and we displayed at the National Folk Festival in Canberra at Easter. Other festivals I got to included the very pleasant and laid back Numeralla in Jan, and the lovely rustic atmosphere of Cobargo in Feb. I've also got to several colonial/folk dance weekends including Bungendore in Oct, and since I'm in Melb, to Portarlington (near Geelong) in Nov (see photo of dancing Sat evening).
Speaking of festivals, below left is a photo of Jigzag, one of my favorite bands, playing here at the National. I also caught them at several other gigs during the year. For festivals of a different sort, I also got to a couple of SF conventions this year - CSFConII in Canberra in May, and to Convergence, the NatCon in Melbourne in June (photo centre of Robert Jan as "Red Kelly"). It was great to catch up with friends at both of these. Whilst in Canberra in Oct I had a walk around Floriade enjoying the wonderful tupip display as always.
I guess that just about covers the highlights for this year, in many ways much the usual. I was dissappointed not to get overseas to Sweden as planned for part of my sabbatical, but unfortunately the tech crash which caused Ericsson to close their CS labs in Stockholm put paid to that. I hope you're keeping well, and look forward to hearing your news. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the New Year!