Hi, I hope this year has treated you well, and that you've been having fun! For me its been another routine (as much as that is) year: some travelling, lots of dancing, getting out into the bush, and of course work (darned shame about the last ... :-) Anyway, here's my year's highlights in pictures ....
Probably the highlight of the year was the holiday on the South Island of New Zealand with my sister Robyn in late Jan & early Feb. We had an absolutely fantastic time! Just a few snippets are shown in the photos below: the view from Mt John over Lake Tekapo, a jet boat ride up the Dart river, the magnificnet Milford Sound, the view from atop Key Summit (near Milford), a full day walk on Franz Josef glacier, and unwinding in the Maruia Hot Springs (in the middle of a national park!). Not shown (because I wasn't risking the digital camera) was the rafting trip down the Shotover river rapids which was a real hoot! All in all we had a just awesome time.
Other trips during the year included a weekend in Sydney visiting my friend Edwina in March. On the Sunday we spent a pleasant time wandering around South Head and watching the Tall Ships sail in. Then in May I flew to the Gold Coast for the AusCERT conference, and afterwards spent a few days driving in to O'Reilly's Guesthouse in Lamington National Park near the Qld-NSW border - which is one of the nicest places I've ever stayed at - with great scenery and walks (see the treetop lookout view below). Then in July Edwina & I travelled up to Port Stephens and went on a whale watching cruise, and we saw a couple of humpbacks (look carefully for them blowing water in the photo below right!)
For more getting out and about in Australia's wonderful outdoors .... in early Aug I did the walk up Mt Tennant in Namadgi Nat Park - with great views to the snow covered Brindabellas. In Oct I managed a couple of XC ski trips around Charlotte's Pass - see the photo of Gutherie Ridge which Ingrid & I skied around is from the first. Then a view from the bottom on Namadgi near the Mt Clear campground, where I went walking in Nov, in one of the few areas not burnt out in the Jan 2003 bushfires!
Of course I've been busy dancing and enjoying the folk scene as always. I went to a number of festivals including Cobargo, the National (which featured the statue of "Little Digger Johnny" I'm standing next to!), Bungendore and Majors Creek (after which I enjoyed relaxing at the Majors Creek Falls - below right). I got along to the Merry Muse Folk Club a number of times, including for Martin Pearson's Tolkien performance (below dressed as Saru-Martin!). And of course I danced lots of Ceroc - a couple of photos from one of the GDS dance parties of me with Heidi and Jo respectively.
I entered the GDS dance competition again doing Ceroc with Lauren (below left) and Ballroom with Melissa, getting a couple of places for the latter. I danced with the Monaro Colonial Dancers at a number of displays, including at the Tulip Farm, which was a lovely venue (below). I ended up going their several times to catch the entertainment, including Earthly Delights (below right).
So thats about it for now. 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!
And a few more photos that I didn't get room to squeeze into the printed letter.
Another view of Robyn & me at Milford Sound (which I'm using as my eCard), the MCD display at the NFF, and Edwina at her hucksters table at the Conflux SF con in Canberra.
A view of Stirling Falls in Milford Sound, Maxine with her birthday painting of her "Time Future" book cover, fireworks in my backyard on the Queens Birthday weekend, and the "Solaris Antiquitus" sculpture created from the bush-fire remnants at Mt Stromlo.
The Balloon Fiesta at the Canberra festival in early March, my garden at home in full bloom, and the "Swan Tire sculptures" from Floriade.