Merry Christmas 2011
Time flies when you are having fun! Life just gets busier.!!!
We started the year by going to Canberra where Graham and Anthony built a wonderful rainbow cubby for the two grand daughters….sliding and flyscreened windows and all.
Vintage was very quiet due to excess rain spoiling the grape crops. However due to its popularity we did make a rather large batch of bottle fermented champagne. Our 2012 vintage will be our biggest ever with our major contract customer asking us to produce more than double anything previously. To this end we have expanded the winery with a new air bag press, coolroom and better chilling facilities.
Ballooning has been extremely busy. At the end of March we bought a new 8 passenger carrier balloon aptly named “Hippy” because of its rainbow colours. Following on from the successful balloon festival in 2010 we were asked to set up a community committee and organise the National Balloon Championships here in Canowindra .We spent months chasing sponsors, organising volunteers. The result was a visitor spend in town of $ 1.5m. So guess what , we are back into it for 2012
Straight after the festival Jan’s mum Bea passed away in her 95th year. Grandma was the last of her generation in our family and is sorely missed by all of us.
June saw us and our friends, Di and Adrian take the Kookaburra balloon on a 10 day promotional tour to QLD. We left it in Ipswich then went 4 WD driving on Fraser Island for a few days This was top fun, not long enough and our only “holiday” this year.
Early in the year Amanda was invited to do her Ph D at Oxford Uni, where she has been working for the last 5 years.. After a long and complicated application process including having to “matriculate” as a new student, she commenced studies in October. This is going to take a lot of understanding and patience from Matt for the next few years. Jan is waiting impatiently to attend her graduation .
We talk to them each week on video Skype so that we can watch Bella and Morty growing up by remote. This does at least mean that they know their Aussie grandparents
Anthony, Kylie , Laura and Amelie come to visit frequently as they are only a couple of hours away. Anthony and Graham have spent some quality family time making cheeses and salamis . Now that they have bought a new 4WD we are hoping to get away together for some off road adventures.
2011 has seen Graham have 2 cataract operations…both very successful and he has reached pensionable age. Jan keeping well but may need knee surgery next year.
We have just bought a new Landcruiser 4WD and off road camper trailer in preparation for a long trip through the Kimberleys and WA later next year
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a happy healthy and prosperous 2012
With Love Graham & Jan