If the past year could be described in terms of weather I would have to say it has been sunny with balmy sea breezes.
In terms of real weather Coffs Harbour has experienced good rainfall so everything is lush and green.
We have not been spared the occasional severe burst of weather with one thunderstorm producing large hail stones which reshaped an air vent on my pool shed and put a couple of holes in the transparent roofing on the outside dunny.
Alison, Mark and Joel:
I have been privileged throughout the year to spend time with my daughter Alison, son-in-law Mark and grandson Joel on my frequent trips to Sydney. Joel is now 2 and a bit and a delight to be with. He has many fans among the staff of the Sydney Virgin Blue lounge.
Alison and Mark are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their second child in January 2009.
Alison loves being a full time Mum and Mark is a brilliant programmer who is making his mark in the Auto Industry.
Joel just loves being with his Mum and Dad and his primary occupation can accurately be described as playing with his toys.
Please take a moment to watch the video below which features Joel on the Wiggles Machine at Warringah Mall in Sydney.
Graeme and Tess:
My son Graeme and his partner Tess gave me a very pleasant surprise in late July when I called to see Tess’s parents at Warren. I had been travelling with my caravan for 5 weeks throughout Victoria and was looking forward to visiting Robyn and Rex Wilson at their property Winterslo which is east of Warren NSW.
When I arrived at their homestead they took me inside and Graeme and Tess appeared! It had been a very well kept secret and I was absolutely delighted to see them.
Graeme has discovered that he is quite artistic and has been doing some graphic design for friends and also produced the banner which you can see at the top of this page. He is hoping to commence a Graphic Arts course at TAFE in Newcastle next year.
Left to right: Graeme, Tess, Rex & Robyn
at Winterslo with my trusty caravan.
Lorraine and Emma:
Lorraine has been very busy this year holding down 2 and sometimes 3 jobs. In addition to this she also sells her lovely handbags at the Bellingen and Coffs Jetty markets.
Lorraine graduated a few years ago and is passionate about counselling. She is doing wonderful work and loves to help and support people.
Emma has had a good year at University and gained several distinctions in her Degree in Psychology. She has one more year to go before graduation and will be a wonderful psychologist.
She has a lovely fuel efficient car and loves to travel. Emma is a real party girl and lives life to the full.
My Extended Family:
Dad has been very ill this year and has moved into the Nursing Home section of Woodport Retirement Village in Erina on the Central Coast. He is up and about and adjusting well to his new situation.
Mum, who is also in her 80′s, is always cheerful but she also has her own battles. It is always a pleasure to visit both of them.
I have seen Ian and Glenda a number of times on my visit to Melbourne and they are always so hospitable and welcoming.
Jenny and Earle are still at Bourke. Jenny recently gave me a wonderful surprise – a delightful painting of my dog Fluffy who passed away this year.
Marg is now a permanent officer of the NSW Public Service and doing good field work with many needy families in the Central Coast.
I have not seen Colin and Ann for a while but they continue to live in Canberra spend much time with their extended family.
On a Sad Note:
My little three-legged dog Fluffy died this year. It happened on the day that Lorraine returned from a long holiday in Vietnam. It was a very sad occasion for myself, Lorraine, Emma and Emma’s dog Scarlett who loved Fluffy very much. I have previously posted a tribute to Fluffy on this blog.
I have continued to present seminars throughout Australia and have now ticked up over 20 years as a Resource Speaker for The Executive Connection (TEC). I have also presented for many other clients.
One of the highlights of my year was teaming up with my very good friend Bill Burdin in Canberra and an associate of his, Janice Needham, to establish the Internet School of Business Blogging. The primary aim of the business is to train and coach organisations in Business Blogging.
Talking of blogging I re-launched my Stresstips website this year as a blog and it has been a very rewarding experience. Most days I post messages to the blog on the topic of stress management and it has encouraged me to research and think about the topic in more depth. I love writing and commend it to you. You are actually reading this messages on my Stresstips blog!
I recently travelled to Murrurundi to spend time with Bill producing a number of videos for the business. As you can imagine with any video production there are out takes and the one in the video below I have called Too Boring for a Horse. Make sure you watch the reaction of the horse …:
While in Murrurundi it was good to catch up with Hugh Campbell ( a good friend of Bill and myself) and also my lifelong friend Rodney Swansborough who has an art studio and school (Upstairs Art). We had a great time.
Rodney, Hughie and Bill at Murrurundi
My faithful, efficient staff – Shirley and Barrie Blamire – reached the landmark of 20 years of service. They have made an invaluable contribution to my business over the years and I would be lost without them.
Shirley and Barrie with grandson Kieran
I continue to be a member of the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour Daybreak and enjoy the fellowship of the members enormously. A group of us regularly play at the Coffs Harbour Golf Course with plenty of good spirited sledging keeping us on our toes.
Despite all the gloom and doom that is daily thrust upon us by the media I trust that 2009 will bring you good health and abundant happiness.
Enjoy a happy and safe Christmas and end of year holiday.