A Marathon Milestone

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Most of April seems to have slipped by in a whirl of socialising.  The reason behind it all was my birthday.  Not just any birthday, but my 60th birthday which is quite a milestone.

The celebrations were nicely spaced out over about 3 weeks and included lunch with my work colleagues early in the month followed by a morning tea at work for all of the April babies, 6 days in Tasmania with GMan and finally, a lunch for family and friends on Sunday.

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GMan and I with the amazing cake which was a fitting finale to a lovely meal and a fantastic few weeks of celebrating.

Everything should settle down to the regular routine now and hopefully blog posts will return to reasonably normal intervals.

 

Christmas 2017 – A Review

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Christmas is over for another year.  I did not write about Christmas preparations because there really were not any preparations.  We arrived back at the beginning of December from our 4 week trip to the UK.  I had organised a week at the beach earlier in the year and bought experience gifts for our daughters and granddaughters.

I planned the menu, gathered up the food and utensils as well as some beach attire and headed off last weekend.

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We had a delightful week of relaxation and casual living.  The biggest decision I had to make was whether to do some more of the jigsaw or play another game of ‘Upwords’.

My daughter and I went to church on Christmas Eve.

The menu for Christmas Day was chosen to fit with hot weather at the beach and there were next to no leftovers.

Proscuitto wrapped asparagus and haloumi
Cold curried chicken
Rice
Parsley and cranberry crusted salmon
Mango and avocado salad
Beetroot and feta salad
Green bean salad with slivered almonds
Meringue roulade with berries and pistachio nuts

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A couple of days after Christmas I finally wrote a Christmas letter and emailed it to my close friends.

So, that was it – no tree, no decorations, no mad rushing around choosing gifts for the sake of it, no looking for a hundred ways to serve ham in January.  I know that this is simply not feasible for many people but every second year our Christmas is an adults only affair so we can approach the day quite differently.

I feel as though I drifted through the second half of 2017 in a haze of inertia following the death of A (our daughter’s partner) in May so relaxing with all of my immediate family was just the antidote we all needed.

I don’t have any major resolutions or grand plans for next year, however, I look forward to 2018 with the optimism that seems to greet every new year.

I hope your Christmas was what you had hoped and all the best for the New Year.

My next blog post will be looking forward to 2018 which conveniently begins on a Monday.  I  like the idea of a nice, neat start to the week and year.  Anyone else feel like this?

Holiday Learning

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Education comes in all sorts of guises and is not necessarily undertaken in the classroom.

It has been school holidays here for the past two weeks and our granddaughters came to visit for a couple of days.  As always, they enjoy activities which they do not have access to at home.

The citrus trees still had plenty of fruit so they picked 2 buckets full of oranges and then it was time to squeeze them.

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They both had plenty of opportunity to hone their skills and Olivia was also able to cut the oranges.

The weather has been very dry recently and last week was particularly hot so watering the garden was essential.  There is not a lot growing at the moment but plenty of water has ensured that the young bean plants survived the heat.

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It is difficult to think of anything that is more important to learn than nurturing, picking and preparing your own food.  I find it very gratifying to be able to share these skills with the girls and encourage their interest.

 

 

Back to Reality

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After 6 weeks of holidays in the USA and Canada we have been home for a little over a week.  We went back to work the day after arriving home so the priority has been catching up on sleep and doing the basics to keep things running smoothly.

There have been some significant changes to ‘The Castle’ in the past few months and now that it is mostly finished, I can share the details with you.

We have had some of the verandah flooring replaced and it has all been sanded and resealed.  The railings are all new and possibly the most exciting thing from my point of view is the screening and gate at the end of the verandah.  This provides a bit more privacy and security to the verandah and creates a clearly defined entrance to the house.

Looking along the front verandah.

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The railing on the patio.

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The new entrance.

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The whole picture.

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We have lots of painting to do and there are plenty of other projects on the home improvement list but this is a big one ticked off.

If you missed the holiday adventures you can read all about it here.  There will be one more post once I sort out the final spending tally but other than that I will be back here – hopefully on a fairly regular basis.

Other Places

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I have not had a chance to update you recently but the lack of posts is due to the fact that we are on holidays.

We have left Psycho Dog, Mr K and the chickens in the capable hands of the housesitters and headed off on an adventure to the other side of the world.

If you would like to join in the fun please come over to my travel blog.  Lots of commentary and photos on where we are and what we see and do.

Posts here will resume when we arrive home – but that is not for several weeks yet!

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Appointments

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Part of being organised is making and keeping track of appointments.  This week I have appointments for a dental check up, haircut and mammogram on 3 consecutive days.

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I am lucky because Breastscreen and my dentist both send reminders when an appointment is due.  I simply make the appointment and make a note in my electronic calendar at work.

My hair appointments are generally 7 weeks apart and I make the following appointment when I am at the salon.

The dentist and hairdresser both send an SMS reminder the day before the appointment.

My haircut on Thursday was one of 3 that I planned and booked back in February.  I did this as I was calculating the intervals so that I could make sure I had my hair cut just before we leave to go on holidays in July.  I will have it cut 2 days before we leave so that it will last for the whole holiday.

What regular appointments do you make and how do you manage them?  Diary?  Electronic notes?  Some other method?