Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy New Year!

We're off to country Victoria to celebrate New Year's, like we did last year. Bendigo is large enough to provide a party atmosphere but without the crushing crowds of Melbourne. The best thing is that our motel, the restaurant and the fireworks are all within a couple of streets of each other, so no need to drive anywhere. There's also the Wine Bank (a converted 19th century bank) where you can get a mean martini. Fortunately the restaurant is only a few doors downhill from there.

Cheers! And see you in 2007!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A summing up of 2006, holiday greetings etc

Yes, I know, some of you thought I was lost to blogging forever, and it is very possible that I will not return to the level of commitment I had before I left for my 6 week holiday in the U.S. But I do not want to cut my ties totally with the wonderful world of blogging, and especially not lose contact with my blogger buddies. I have been checking up on your blogs and note that I am not the only one who is losing momentum at this time of year.

But what a year it's been! From the time I decided to retire in March, then finishing work in June to start taking 6 months of accumulated leave, to now when I am only days away from official retirement (have already received my final pay cheque - gulp!), it has been a steady diet of exhilaration. I just love being retired, and couldn't have chosen a better time to do it. I was SO ready for a life with fewer demands on my time, and a comparison of my 2006 and 2007 diaries illustrates this well.

The one on the left is your heavy duty A4 size diary, with every workday divided up into half hour timeslots, one week per view. On the right is my handmade diary for next year, small, light and soft to the touch, with lovely beads as decoration, and it's 2 months per view. Click to enlarge and see the lovely texture on the handmade paper.

If you look carefully you can see the footy games already pencilled in for June and July.

My U.S. holiday was one highlight of my new life this year, but another, totally unexpected highlight was that I was recently awarded the Chancellor's Medal for my "outstanding contributions to the University"! I had to read the letter a number of times before I could comprehend. A formal presentation will be made next year, and there will be photos (promises, promises). What a way to finish a career, doing something I loved doing, and then being so honoured by the academics who were such a joy to work with.

So a summing up of my 2006 would have to be a very positive one, without forgetting that I have been extremely fortunate in many ways: good health, a wonderful husband and family, and a network of friends around blogger world. And also not forgetting that there are many who have not been so fortunate, for whom I wish a 1000% better 2007. And to everyone, I wish you a very happy holiday season and a fulfilling new year.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Now where was I??

Yes, I've returned from the U.S. and I am 110% OK. Sincere thanks to all for sending greetings via comments and email, despite my shameful neglect of you all. It is indeed wonderful to be missed.

After a fabulous 6 weeks away I have found it difficult to get back into blogging. I have been lurking in blogs occasionally and leaving comments only rarely. I am not yet ready to resume blogging but thought it was high time that I let people know I'm still around and that I haven't forgotten you. I have replied to individual commenters if I had their email addresses. In one of those emails I wrote:

I have got
my bookbinding-related purchases sorted out and put away. I bought some nice papers, a number of stamps and stickers, etc. Have made my own diary for next year, small enough to put in my bag, unlike the official A4 size I needed to buy every year with a timeslot for each half hour to schedule all my appointments. Ha! Don’t need that any more. Exult! Exult!

So that might tell you something about my current emotional state: even 4 months after retiring I am still appreciating my new freedom.

I will try to post again soon.