Dear family and friends,
Another year has ended and we are looking forward to next year, anticipating that it will be a better year, just as we did at the end of 2020 (ha ha ha!).
We have survived another year of Covid-19 after a total of 267 days in lockdown here in Melbourne. We are safe and well, taking all the precautions against Covid that are necessary. We are fully vaccinated and looking forward to getting our third booster shot early in January.
Our travel has again been restricted but we have had a few successful getaways during the year amongst a continuing number of cancellations. The reunion of my army unit from Vietnam that we were organising for August was cancelled as were our trips on both the Ghan and Indian Pacific trains which we finally cancelled after three earlier deferments.
We did manage to get away for a number of driving trips during the year and found these to be very valuable in relieving the monotony of being restricted to home. We found one window of opportunity to visit the Flinders Ranges in South Australia last May, and another in which we drove across the High Country through Falls Creek to Omeo. We also had a third driving trip around the rich grazing country of Western Victoria as well as a short stay at one of our favourite B&Bs in Gippsland..
We struck it lucky when we ordered some new cars in February. These were eventually delivered in May. We managed to buy two new vehicles that were built before the worldwide chip shortage began. If we had have ordered them any later in the year, the waiting time would have been much longer and their more advanced electronic features would not have been available.
We were fortunate to have quite a number of occasions on which to catch up with Cathy and her girls through the year. Cathy has had some trying times working in the Covid ward of her hospital and Audrey and Violet are growing quickly. Even with a long period of home schooling on-line, Audrey has excelled in her academic work. She has taken on a leadership role and participated in the school musical that was eventually shown on-line after being cancelled one week after our last lockdown began. Violet has done well in Grade 5 and moves up to her last year of primary school next year. She has enjoyed her dancing and seems to sometimes have a level of wisdom beyond her years.
We regret that we haven’t been able to travel to Perth to see our son, David, Yuki and our two grandsons. The Premier of that state has kept the border locked shut for two years now. I don’t know why he just doesn’t secede and be done with it. Hopefully we will get to Perth around Easter next year. The last time we saw Orin and Koa they were only five and two years old respectively. I’ll have to take a long tape measure to see how much they’ve grown whenever we get over to Perth.
Jill keeps well although she has is having more difficulty with her mobility. The lift that we were fortunate enough to put in our house just before Covid began is a tremendous help in her being able to get upstairs and downstairs. Bruce keeps well apart from a few elderly accident pains.
We have both learnt a good amount of patience over the last year or so and we are happy to be less organised and more flexible in our lives. It’s been very hard to make any firm plans at all over this last year but we will continue as positively as we can and trust that now the vast majority of the population are fully vaccinated we have more freedom and flexibility to do more interesting things.
Best wishes to you, our family and friends. it seems much more significant and less trite to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year now than in the past.
Bruce and Jill