Lawrie's 2016 Annual Letter

Hi, I hope you've had a good year, and have been keeping happy and well. Yes its time for my annual update, and the big news for me is that having spent much of the year on long service leave, as of the end of Oct 2016 I'm now officially retired (good old CSS 54/11 for those who know the implications). Not that it feels much different, as I still have a visiting position at the Uni, and have been working on a new 4th edition of the Computer Security text I co-authored for much of the year! But its nice to have escaped the marking and admin hell! And to mostly work only when I want to. Also spending more time travelling, dancing and having fun! So given that, here's my years highlights in pictures .... My big trip this year was 5 weeks in Scandinavia in June-July. I flew into Copenhagen and stayed for a few days with Ursula (seen in main hall in Frederiksborg Castle). Then went exploring various places in Denmark, including Ødense, Vejle, Legoland at Billund (Millenium Falcon model), Århus, the northern tip at Skagen and Hirtshals. Next I caught the ferry over to Kristiansand in Norway and spent a lovely few days with Per Magne & his family in Arendal. Then on to Oslo, and more exploring (photo of me atop the Holmenkollen Ski Jump Tower with city view behind). Among other attractions, I do very much love the sculpture parks here.

16Jun18-Frederiksborg Castle 16Jun24-Legoland Billund 16Jul05-Oslo

I then caught the train into Sweden to Karlstad, Örebro (with its awesome castle), caught up with Genet in Norrköping (with its marvellous Industrial Landscape buildings in and along the river) and then to Stockholm. I finished with a week at the famous Herräng swing dance camp in a picturesque coastal village north of Stockholm taking the Balboa intermediate classes (house-mates dressed for masquerade).

16Jul09-Orebro 16Jul13-Norrkoping 16Jul20-Herrang

Back in Australia, I've been dancing lots of course. Plenty of swing dancing, including a number of exchanges, both local with the Jumptown Jam in Apr, Canberräng in Aug (photo of me dancing), and Slowdown in Oct; as well as interstate with the Little Big Weekend in Sydney in May, Swingmania in Launceston in Oct (fun and games on fountain), and MLX in Melbourne in Nov. I've also been to various folk dances, including the Monaro Folk Society's Colonial Ball (gorgeous gowns), and a number of Earthly Delights Balls through the year. And to the National Folk Festival at Easter here in Canberra.

16Jul31-Canberrang 16Oct29-Swingmania Launceston 16Sep03-35th MFS Colonial Ball Albert Hall

Canberra has plenty on as always. I get to hear quite a bit of live music, especially Blues and Jazz around town. And to go and see various festivals and shows on here. Including "Circus 1903" in Dec, with some great contortion, acrobatic, juggling and other acts. I love the architectural light projections on display during the Enlighten Festival in Mar (photo of projections onto National Gallery & National Library), and of the Balloon Spectacular (massed liftoff at dawn) also in Mar.

16Mar04-Enlighten 16Mar06-Enlighten 16Mar17-Canberra Balloon Spectacular

I also enjoy the beautiful countryside that Canberra in located in. I've managed a few walks around town, here a view from a walk in Tidbinbilla to the Nil Desperandum homestead in Apr. And nice to see our new Cotter Dam is full & spilling over (photo looking through the Flow sculpture). And I went to see Floriade a number of times (photo of me with Lynne who made a quick visit form Wagga to see it).

16Apr13-BBW Tidbinbilla to Nil Desperandum Walk 16Aug26-Cotter Dam Spilling 16Oct02-Floriade

I've enjoyed going to a number of talks on science and technology topics at the Academy of Science, ANU, ADFA & CSIRO. These included a talk by former astronaut Ron Garan at ADFA, and talks by senior JPL staff on current space missions. I also enjoyed seeing the displays (and fun such as Daleks in motion) at the Science in Action display for the Science Week in Aug. And I admire the changing displays in the NGA, including the awesome new leather sculpture of a fairytale castle by Xu Zhen. And whilst in Melbourne in Nov, we had a family gathering to celebrate Mum's 80th birthday, which was lovely.

16Aug13-Science in Action Bus Depot Markets 16Aug30-NGA 16Nov05-Mums 80th Cranbourne South

Thats about it for now, hope it gives some idea of my many and various activities. I expect the coming year will have more travel and dancing, including a likely trip to Finland for Worldcon and on to UK, Austria & Germany to see family & friends in Aug-Sept. I'm also looking forward to Duncan Lorien's Song-writing seminar in Melbourne in Feb.

With best wishes for this festive season. I look forward to hearing your news. May your life be filled with peace and joy this Christmas and for the coming Year Lawrie - 12 Dec 2016.

The latest copy of this letter is online in: on my web site:; or you can send me email at:

And a few more photos that I didn't get room to squeeze into the printed letter. First some more photos from my Scandinavian trip, including the Old Town in Århus, WW2 fortifications in Hirtshals, and the "Anatomy of an Angel" sculpture in Oslo.

16Jun26-Aarhus 16Jun28-Hirtshals 16Jul05-OsloAngel

Next there's the picturesque lake behind the dance house at Herräng in July. Then back in Australia Cataract Gorge in Launceston (from my Swingmania trip end Oct), and one of the Contour 556 sculptures by Lake Burley Griffin also in Oct.

16Jul18-Herrang 16Oct27-Cataract Gorge Launceston 16Oct21-Contour 556 Sculptures by the Lake

Jumping back to Scandinavian with the Hans Christian Andersens library in Ødense, and the rather spectacular water tower in Örebro. Back in Australia are formations in Wombeyan Caves (north of Canberra) in Feb, the new Bowen Drive underpass next to the NGA also in Feb, and ice sculpting at the NPG Winter Festival in Aug.

16Jun22-Odense 16Jul11-Orebro 16Feb19-Wombeyan Caves 16Feb28-Sculpture Garden Sunday NGA 16Aug07-NPG Winter Festival

Finally some beautiful glass art in the Canberra Glassworks, relaxing in the Hilltop Pool at Peninsula Hot Springs, and the Elephant Sculpture in Birrarung Marr in Melbourne, all in Nov.

16Nov11-Canberra Glassworks Exhibition 16Nov24-Peninsula Hot Springs 16Nov26-Melbourne

Seasons Greetings