Saturday 9 December 2023

Christmas Newsletter 2023

 Kevin says that if I don't write our Christmas Newsletter soon it will be the New Year!

Actually it's not the latest that I have ever got round to it, but as our Christmas cards are in the post I thought I better get it written... 

To be honest once again I am not happy with the post. I use both Australia Post and UK's Royal Mail a lot - usually to swap crafty items like ATCs and cards. But this year the parcels I sent to my brother and sister in the UK have both been hit with VAT, more than doubling the cost of sending them. This has never happened before and I thought I had been really careful with the rules but obviously not so! 

Anyway enough of the rant, what have I got to tell you about 2023?

We have now been in our new house more than a year. It has been amazing so see the estate behind us develop. This was our block two years ago:

This is how it looked from the drone this week:

We still have one or two things to do in the house - changing the basic lampshades that were put in by the builders, for example - but eventually the landscapers arrived around Easter time to build the retaining wall at the back and plant and mulch the front. Since Kevin has been back from Egypt, he has been working on the veggie plot and the area we want to put to lawn.
We are already enjoying lettuce, runner beans, potatoes with other crops coming on!

That is Tom's boat on the front which Kevin is also working on...However the weather has been poor in the last couple of weeks - so he started on the Christmas decorations! He came back from Egypt in June, after 15 months away, coming back a couple of times, including for Christmas. 
This time last year Liz and Pete arrived from Devon - so Sophie and I arranged a trip to spend a few days in Waratah Bay.

Most of their family... Ella and Lucas, John, Julia, Chloe and Emma... and Kevin arrived on the 18th of December and then we all got together for various events... The boat trip was our Christmas present from Dan and lizzie!

Here are Kevin and I and our kids - Sophie, Matt, Dan and Tom... and then Tom and Aiden:

 The reason for the photo with the ages on - Ella and John, Tom , Dan and Matt were remembering a similar picture when they were 8, 6, 4, 2, 0...

and another year...

We were missing Jas and Isa and Leo but otherwise the Renshaw and Briens families were all together on several occasions. The Brienses all set off for Tasmania and we enjoyed a day at the races...

Matt came over with Jas and Isa later and we managed a family dinner with Tom and Clare. Matt and the girls were impressed with my temperature blanket. Sophie and I had each made one, crocheting one row each day in 2022, colours according to the weather!

Kevin went back to Egypt on January 13th.
Sophie and I went to the Australian Open on the first day as usual.

Sophie and I then went on a round trip along the Great Ocean Road and back through Ballarat. We saw a number of interesting places en route including the Naracoorte Caves. 

As the Australian Garden is next door we regularly take a walk around it. We also visited the Lotus Garden and the Kabloom festival early in the year.

In April Tom, Clare, Sophie and I went To Cairo to meet up with Kevin. Liz and Pete were supposed to come too but unfortunately they caught Covid.
We saw all the sights, took a cruise down the Nile and stayed in Hurghada.

I/we regularly go over to East Gippsland to see Matt and the girls. I love the walk to the lake...

In May Aiden was 23.

In June, Kevin was back and our first trip was to the Whitsundays with Matt, Jas and Isa and Sophie.

Matty stayed up in the Whitsundays to take more people on the boat. We took the girls back to Melbourne and then East Gippsland.

Now that Kevin was back he could join Sophie and I on all our visits to the theatre, cinema, the Lume Connection, Women's football, Lightscape, Paul McCartney, the Corrs...


In September the three of us went to Tasmania where a highlight was a boat trip where we saw whales...

Kevin and I look after Ollie every Monday.

Just before Christmas the Melbourne Renshaws met up for Kevin's birthday. Matt, Jas and Isa live in East Gippsland (a three hour drive away).

And just to keep us busy, Sophie, Kevin and I have been doing a 3000 piece jigsaw.

We now look forward to Christmas festivities and holidays in January... Just one more Sunday in Advent!

So, here's wishing you a very happy Christmas and let's hope 2024 is a good year!

 love Sue and Kevin xx

No comments:

Post a Comment