News for 2006
In December 2005 we drove to Ipswich to spend Christmas with Lee and Karen and Olivia.
In January this year, 2006, the Glennie family, Kim, Russel, Samantha and Alexander came to stay with us, together with Samantha's and Alex's other Nanna, Russel's mother, Pat. Everyone had a good time, visiting our beaches, the local resort, the crocodile farm, the caves, our nearest tow, Rockhampton, and local beauty spots. Russel and Victor went across to Great Keppel Island to have a sail on the catamarans at the resort, which was really good.
We started planning our exciting trip to Europe in February, after receiving a letter from Victor's long lost cousin, Roger Gomersall. He suggested we might like to join him and also his brother David on a trip around the battlefields of the Somme, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of that battle, in which our Uncle William died in the "Big Push" of 1st July 1916.
During February, Barbara's youngest daughter Roslyn came to stay with us for a week, and she enjoyed a break from the routine of life in Adelaide. Barbara and Victor made several day or 3 day trips to places along the central Queensland coast, including Tannum Sands, Gladstone, Agnes Water and Town of 1770, and Sarina Beach. In June we took the ferry across to Great Keppel Island and stayed for 3 days at Svendsen's Beach, the remotest southern tip of the island. This was a lovely "get away from it all" oasis, with no electricity or loudspeakers, only 2 other guests, and some of the nicest beaches and walking tracks we have ever seen.
On 21st June we drove to Brisbane and stayed a couple of nights with Karen and Lee. Then on 23rd June, we took off from Brisbane Airport, for Paris, via Bangkok, where we visited the amazing Golden Temple and the Reclining Buddha. More details and photos of our Thailand visit are in our Travel Diary - Thailand. In Paris we stayed in a tiny apartment in the heart of Monmartre, and explored some lesser-known niches of Paris, such as the Catacombes, Bassin St Jacques, and the Arabic Centre, as well as some of the well-known tourist sites like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. We also went to the Palace of Versailles and visited the Hall of Mirrors. Much more information and many photos of our stay in Paris are in out travel diary - France 2006.
On 29th June we met our Gomersall cousins at Calais, where we joined them for a bus tour of the Somme. Roger Gomersall came from County Durham in the North-East of England, and cousin David Gomersall came from Birmingham, Alabama, USA. He brought with him two sons, Thomas Gomersall and Geoffrey Gomersall, and one grandson, Chase Goodwin.
The tour was most informative. We learned heaps about World War I, and especially about the Battle of the Somme. We visited Thiepval memorial and attended a ceremony of remembrance, at which Prince Charles gave a speech, and young Chase shook hands with the Prince! Photos and more details of our Somme tour are in our Travel Diary - France 2006. After the tour we crossed the channel to England (via the car ferry), in the bus with our group. We hired a car in Dover, and visited cousin Rosemary and Fred at Lyth Hill, Auntie Stella and Uncle Peter in Shrewsbury, and Roger and Dorothy Gomersall in County Durham.
We then drove North, passing Hadrian's Wall, and across the border into Scotland. We stayed 3 days in Edinburgh. Then we flew direct from Edinburgh to Madrid, one week in an apartment right near Puerta del Sol, then flew home to Australia via Bangkok. We arrived in Brisbane on 24th July, stayed again with Karen and Lee, then drove up to Rockhampton, arriving home on the evening of the 25th July.
Sadly, 3 days after getting home, both Barbara and Victor came down with a terrible flu which lasted nearly 4 weeks, we blame the aeroplane's air-conditioning for spreading the virus to us! In August we drove down again to Brisbane, visited Karen and Lee, and also joined up with the Nagel family, who were on holiday in the Gold Coast. Melissa had her Spanish friend and exchange student, Odile, with her, so we feebly attempted to speak a little in Spanish with her!
Victor is nearing completion of the software he is writing for the teaching of music theory. It is called "Musical Discovery". After completing the copyright protection modules, he hopes to launch it on the market, hopefully around Christmas, partly through pages on this web site. Watch this space!
On 22nd October, Robert and Wendy arrived in Townsville in their yacht "Sea Fever", completing an 8-year epic voyage around the world. Their last leg brought them from Fiji via Vanuatu. Barbara and Victor were there to greet them on the water front at Townsville Marina.