Victor and Barbara in 2010.
On Australia Day, 26th January 2010, we had a large gathering of Barbara's family at our place for a BBQ. We had Australian flags as tablecloths, serviettes, and we all felt rather patriotic! Victor took a movie of the day on his new digital cine camera, which can be viewed as streamed video here.
Barbara and Victor spent a lot of time planning their grand tour of USA and Canada, from the end of March, through till the end of June. We left Adelaide 6am on 28th March and arrived in Los Angeles at 5:45 am LA Time, on the same day! (We obviously crossed the date-line over the Pacific). Victor kept a blog of our travels on this website at USACanada I spent a lot of time in the evenings condensing and uploading movies, using the high-speed wireless internet service in nearly every motel. During our trip we met 3 of Victor's cousins from the Hudson branch of the family, Peter and Candace in Coursegold, California, John in Toronto, Ontario, and Donald and Elinor in Calgary Alberta.
We also met cousin David Gomersall in Birmingham, Alabama, with his lovely wife. Debbie, and Victor's Mother's cousin Joan Seear, in Berkely, California. And a particular highlight towards the end of our trip was meeting up with brother Robert, to attend his daughter Annalise's graduation at Stanford University. Together with Annalise's mother, Arlene, we sat in an enormous football stadium at Stanford, and watched the amazing "Wicky-Wacky Walk" which preceded the formal cermonies. Our movies of all these events are on my streamed video at USACanada
We arrived home from USA on 25th June, to be greeted by winter weather. We had our chimney swept, so we could light our combustion heater, which we needed every day, and frequently we kept it burning all night. Winter seemed to go on much longer than usual. We were still lighting our fire on 17th October and 4th Novemeber this year, and though we've had a few hot days over 30 degrees since then, it has mainly been cool to cold, with a fair bit of rain.
We've had a few musical sessions with Barbara on clarinet, friends Sue and Steve on violins, and Victor on piano. Victor has been playing some piano duets and accompanying the violin, with another music lover who lives very near to us. And Victor has been busy as secretary (and web-site author/maintainer) of the Associated Chamber Music Players of South Australia ACMPSA. On 1st August, he had the first opportunity to play right through all four movements of his composition, Piano Trio in D major, with cellist Kathy Wozniczka and violinist Steve Salamon. This is now on YouTube. We attended all three performances this year by the South Australian Opera, in Adelaide, namely, Verdi's Aida, Bizet's Pearl Fishers, and Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel. We attended a lovely home-concert at a friend's house, with Cantaloube's Songs of the Auvergne, and Dvorak's Dumky Trios. Sadly our friend and violinist Anne Beadell had a stroke and died just one week after playing the Dumky Trios in this concert, one of her life's ambitions. She was only 69. Victor has continued working on his musical website BestClassicalTunes.com. It now has 209 scores, 865 musical works, and 1203 themes in the dictionary of musical themes. A new member of our Chamber Group, violinist Tanel Dragoi, played Tchaikovsky's violin concerto at a concert in December. Tchaikovsky wrote this in 1877, for a violinist who prompty refused to play it when he saw how difficult it was. We are honoured to have this world-class violinist in our midst, recently arrived in Australia from Romania.
Barbara made frequent trips to see her Mother, who was in a nursing home south of Adelaide. This is a one and half hour journey from our house. Ada Callender celebrated her 91st birthday on 16th December 2009 at the nursing home. Sadly, she died on 13th September, and we attended her funeral a week later. Barbara and her two sisters have been busy sorting out her affairs.
We finished off our new steps up from the back of our house, and planted petunias in urns on either side, so now we have a garden feature that leads the eye up to the higher ridge of hill above us. We removed a garden bed with diseased roses enclosed with ugly railway sleepers, and replaced it with beautiful green lawn surrounded by flowers. We have also constructed a new wood shed, so we can alternate between timber collected in our two sheds, allowing the most recent year's collection to dry out thoroughly. We had asphalt repair work done on eroded sections of our driveway up the steep hill, and substantial repairs to a leaking verandah roof.
Our "duck pond" filled with August rains, and is still full at time of writing, though it inevitably will be bone dry by February or sooner. Barbara's grandsons Austin and Mason enjoyed paper boat races in September on our stream and pond, and under our ornamental bridge. Barbara's daughter Kim visited us from Sydney in July and again with her family in October. We attended a ceremony marking Barbara's 18 year-old grandson Cameron 's last day at school on 27 October.
We drove north 2100 kms to Brisbane in September, to visit Karen and to see Victor's newest grandson, Daniel, who was born whilst we were away in USA and Canada. We had a great time also catching up with Mathew, now two and a half years old, and of course, Lee and Olivia. We also drove the extra miles north to visit brother Robert at Lake McDonald. Later, in December, we took a short 2-day trip to the Yorke Peninsula, which is west of Adelaide. It has some pretty beaches, and thousands of acres of fertile wheat fields, with giant combine harvesters everywhere. Barbara's niece, Tania, visited us from Sydney in December, and after a lovely meal at our local "Blacksmith's Inn", she came to our place for coffee. with her mother Sandra (Barbara's sister), and Barbara's young sister Diedre.
This year we've done heaps of travelling, thousands of miles of car driving in US, Canada and Australia, and seen the insides of dozens of motels. It has been great, but next year, 2011, we plan to have a break from travel, stay home and tend our garden!