Friday, January 01, 2016

2015 / So That Was the Year That Was

Sydney welcomed the new year in with the usual spectacular midnight fireworks display over the harbour watched live by 1.5 million people.

On the south coast, a world away, all was pretty quiet and we were in bed by 10pm!
2015 was a busy travel year for us.
First to Bali in June for the daughter's and Nicko's wedding with a two quick side trips, coming and going, to Singapore.
It was a lovely few days in Indonesia on the beach near a quiet Hindu fishing village in luxurious accommodation.
And of course the simple ceremony was just perfect.

Then to the USA in October to visit family with a side trip to Houston for an International Quilt Show where the co driver had a prize winning quilt hanging.
Overseas travel plans for 2016?
The 2015 vintage was a bit of a disaster. Travel to the USA in late 2014 left the vines to their own devices during a critical period of development. The weather gods were not kind and persistent rain instigated an unstoppable fungus epidemic. Apart from the Cabernet Sauvignon which, being a later variety, escaped most of the fungus scourge, we did not bother harvesting the other three varieties. The wine produced from the Cabernet was, however, mediocre at best due to the ongoing wet conditions.
Lucky this is only a hobby, not a money making concern.
The co driver was full in quilting mode the whole year with a little bit of knitting thrown in for good measure.
Apart from her Houston success, she was also a multiple prize winner at the local rural show.
'Wonky Baskets' / Modern Quilts, Own Design / 2nd Prize/ Houston

I finally realized a lifetime ambition and began taking art lessons.
Within six months I became aware that this activity was not for me or at least not via a formal process. I now won't die wondering. However unfinished paintings wait for a return of inspiration.
On the farm we had to deal with a 1 in 25 year flood and escaped cattle. A bit of a stressful time but our good neighbours came to the rescue and all turned out well in the end.
The highlight of our sporting year was the Rugby World Cup in the UK. Australia did a lot better than most supporters expected (as they were in the so called 'Pool of Death"), failing in the final to beat the New Zealand All Blacks.
The Webb Ellis Cup (also known as 'Bill')

And finally, on the political scene, Australia had a change of Prime Minister in September, not via the electoral process but by a 'bloodless coup' within the governing party. Can't say too many people regretted this. In my 50 years as a voter I have never witnessed such dysfunctional leadership including his many bizarre personal decisions known as "Captain's Calls or Picks".
Sadly since September 2013, when the LNP got into power, Australia was not the country I had lived in for the past 69 years. One can only hope under the new leader (or possibly a new government in 2016) there is a retreat from the precipice of ultra conservative politics.
The Best Picture of the Year

So 2016 is here.
Lots, as usual, to look forward to, living as we do, in a little bit of paradise.
All the best to my readers for the New Year, wishing you health, wealth and happiness.

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