Christmas 2012

At least by comparison with the past couple of years life has been pleasantly uneventful. Gloria has made slow but steady progress with her leg. She now walks with no sign of the accident, but still has some discomfort if the repair is touched. She has decided that she can no longer take the more jolting of our bush trips. The extra energy seems to have been channeled into activities at home – walls keep changing colour for example. This year, I even managed to avoid sinus troubles for the first time in a long while. Not that the weather was particularly helpful. We had our share of flooded rivers and road diversions locally but fortunately nothing on the scale of places further north.

Michael and Caroline Powell visited in February. Rob Corless continues to reappear but that has as much to do with scuba diving as with the evolution of the biggest short introduction to computational mathematics which is still contained to two volumes. Brother Tom came from Perth as far as Torquay where we had a family party as part of his sixty’th birthday celebrations. He has now decided to retire to Launceston where they have taken over Janie’s family home and provided us with an excuse to visit. Several visits to Melbourne enabled us to catch up with friends and relations. These trips now include diversions through Torquay and Hamilton west of Melbourne, diversions which can even stretch to take in Mildura.

Our longest trip was a visit to Queensland in August. We headed north to Toowoomba, then cut across to the Cooloola National Park where we camped south of Rainbow Beach at Freshwater Lake. We were interested in the Freshwater campsite. It is distinctly attractive in rain forrest14 km’s from the main road down a reasonably rough 4wd track, and we thought we would probably have the place largely to ourselves. Worked fine until the weekend when the proximity to the beach brought a continual stream of the huntin’ and fishin’ set in their 4wd utes. We then headed up the coast to one of our favourite spots at Eurimbula National Park. Here we did have the park to ourselves except for an isolated sand fly invasion. The wind at the time was a nor-wester – unusual at this time of year. We had planned to head further north but after-flood repairs had turned the Bruce Highway north of Maryborough into little more than an extended parking lot. So we headed to Mount Morgan where the Alma of David’s concerto first started on the violin. This seems to be the only major mining town where all the money left town so there is no equivalent of the substantial buildings characterizing places like Bendigo. However, we spent a deal of time in the Museum where Gloria was searching out information about Alma, and I discovered an interesting collection of old cars. There was not a great deal known about Alma, but Gloria clearly kindled something, and she was subsequently sent fourteen pages of research on the local history. She responded with a recording of the concerto. We then headed back to Boreen Point for a few more days camping by Lake Cootharaba , and to catch up with Jake and Ashley. Then a brief stop to see the King’s in Surfers Paradice before heading home.

This year included a CTAC meeting at QUT in September. This was very successful, including excellent invited talks, and not least because I managed to fly there and back without sinus symptoms. Next January we try to make Auckland for the JCB meeting!

Christmas this rear is rather different. Therese and John have bought a seaside house at Mossy Point. This seems to have effectively attracted most of the assorted families for the festive season, although some at least will pass through Canberra on their way home. Stephen remains in Canberra and will be making Christmas dinner – at least the turkey and ham component anyway.


Mike and Gloria