Adrian was host to his department colleagues for their bimonthly meeting. I made hot wings - they do not have them here - and other finger foods. Adrian presented a riveting paper on solid renal masses and all was good. One of Adrian's colleagues - a very talented woman - Catherine brought the girls hand puppets that she made - so special.
My dear friend AiLan is heading back to the UK in August so I am anxious to find another friend. I have several friends that I enjoy but none with a similar schedule or taste for spicy Asian food... Jan and Jim will be heading back to Austin in a few months having really come to enjoy this experience. They will have been here for a year. Lots of people come and go from here. We are certainly richer in the most important ways for coming. I would encourage all of you to take a step back from the hustle and bustle, the money and things, the social commitments, all those things that keep us so busy - and look at what is nearest and dearest and what is so important - the simple sweet love of family. Whatever your family is, whatever it looks like, however strange, wonderful, functional, dysfunctional, and remember it is YOUR family - who cares what the other ones look like, LOVE the one you're with...
I started a photography class last Tuesday night and that is going to be great. It is a two part class to teach us the use of our DSLR camera and some photography tips. I had homework and these are the photos that I took - light, contrast, lines -
|sculpture on back patio|
|roses out kitchen window - loads of late blooms!|
We are getting ready for the Queen's Birthday weekend. We are going to Rotorua to check out the hot springs - smell like sulfur - and the Maori culture. We are going to see a haka and go to a hangi.
There are some really nice tramps - walks amongst other things! - that we are looking forward to completing without incident (we hope).
We are off to Australia in a few weeks at the next school holiday. We are flying into Brisbane, spending a few days there and then going on to Cairns where it will be warm, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. Someone will be having a birthday while we are there - not Abigail, not Grace, not me. July 8 will be a day of great celebration. Maybe we will be on the Great Barrier Reef or in Port Douglas, I will let you know of course.
It is getting cold here and there is no central heat or air and the windows are single pane. We are getting the hang of it though. Thank goodness the weather is relatively mild - no big fluxes in temperature. We love a cloudy night so the frost stays away. The sun warms up the house in the afternoon and our fireplace does a fine job in the evening. Electric blankets get the beds toasty warm and then we are all hot-bodies for the night time;-)
So all is good in this far away land... I know that we would never have been able to have this adventure without Skype and the internet, such great ways of keeping in touch and in the know... xxoo